U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at French President Emmanuel Macron after spending a few days in Paris.
Trump was one of many world leaders commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
He referenced both world wars when criticizing Macron’s plan to start a European army in the wake of a changing political world.
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“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France?” Trump said. “They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along.”
He also added: “Pay for NATO or not!”
Macron has called for Europe to build its own army after growing concerns that Trump might prove less willing than his predecessors to come to Europe’s defence in the face of a newly assertive Russia. He has also suggested that Europe should be able to protect itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America.”
During the Paris Peace Forum, which Trump spent largely alone, Macron condemned the nationalism Trump has been stoking.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said Sunday.
He also added that if a nation puts itself first and says “who cares about the others?” they “erase the most precious thing a nation can have … its moral values.”
Trump continued attacking Macron and France on Twitter saying “there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!” and adding: “Make France great again!”
It’s the second time Trump has slammed Macron’s plan for a European army; he first tweeted about the issue on Friday as he arrived in Paris.
“Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!” tweeted Trump.
NATO funding has long been a gripe of Trump’s, who said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail that he would consider disbanding the 70-year-old alliance. Macron has said he wants Europe to bear a greater share of the defence costs within NATO, a point he has made repeatedly since taking office.
The two leaders met on Saturday and discussed the issue in Paris, where Trump had previously said he wants to help Europe — as long as it’s “fair.”
“We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States,” he said.