US President Donald Trump has chosen the anniversary of the tragic 2015 Paris terrorist attacks to denigrate his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a series of furious Twitter posts.
In the seemingly unprovoked attack, Mr Trump posted five different tweets that underscored how much the once-friendly ties between the two leaders have soured, just two days after returning from Paris.
The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He 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!……..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Mr Trump also cited Mr Macron’s “low approval rating” and defended his absence from a commemoration event on Saturday saying the US Secret Service had vetoed driving to the venue because of poor weather.
The US President first accused Mr Macron of aspiring to building its own army to defend itself against the US.
He pointed to Mr Macron’s recent comments about Europe’s need to protect itself, blasting the key US ally over its near defeat to Germany in two world wars after returning to Washington from a weekend in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One.
“It was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along. Pay for NATO or not!
“By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets, ending with “MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”
Mr Trump appears to have misread Mr Macron’s comments several days earlier, whereby he expressed support towards an integrated EU army.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr Macron told French radio last week.
It came after Mr Trump demanded European allies spend more on national defence to protect its own security.
Mr Macron’s comments were meant to show European willingness to meet US demands by investing greater into national defence, in turn becoming less dependent on America for military support.
Mr Trump further accused Mr Macron of unfair wine trade practices.
“On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the US,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“The problem is that France makes it very hard for the US to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the US makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!”
Asked about Mr Trump’s tweets, a key adviser to Macron said the French president had briefed Trump and his chief of staff during the Paris trip to reassure them that “that France is not about to make a choice between a European defence system and a multilateral approaches”.