Trump lashes out at Macron over defence proposal
He fires off a series of caustic tweets on Macron's European defence proposal
WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Tuesday unleashed an extraordinary attack on Mr Emmanuel Macron, mocking the French president's approval rating and lashing him over European defence proposals.
On the heels of a rocky trip to Paris to mark the World War I centenary, Mr Trump fired off a caustic series of early-morning tweets against his weekend host and renewed his frequent charge that America's European allies in Nato spend too little on defence.
"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France?" Mr Trump tweeted.
Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France?US President Donald Trump
"They were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along," he added, in a low blow sure to gall many French.
"Pay for NATO or not!" "MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!" Mr Trump continued in a play on his own campaign slogan, before turning to what he slammed as protectionist French tariffs on US wine - saying they were "not fair, must change!".
The fierce broadside comes as Europeans ask whether they should rely on the mercurial Mr Trump and the US for defence, which has been assured during the Cold War and beyond by the Nato alliance stretching from Alaska to Turkey.
Mr Trump had already berated Mr Macron in a tweet from Air Force One just as he landed in Paris, calling the French proposals for European defence "very insulting" .
Mr Trump appeared to be incensed after critical media coverage of his trip - during which he was called out for cancelling a visit to an American military cemetery after his helicopter was grounded by the rain.
Adding to the rough reception, Mr Macron in his Armistice Day speech declared that nationalism "is a betrayal of patriotism," in a clear rebuke of the self-described nationalist Mr Trump, who was in attendance.
"By saying our interests come first and others don't matter we are erasing what makes a nation precious, what makes it live, what makes it great and most importantly of all, its moral values," Mr Macron said.
'VERY PROUD PEOPLE'
Mr Trump, referring to the push for a European military, tweeted that Mr Macron was "just trying to get onto another subject" .
"By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!" Mr Trump said.
Mr Macron's office offered no comment. But an adviser to Mr Macron, who declined to be named, brushed aside the tweets, saying they were "written for Americans - otherwise they would not be written in English". - AFP