Macron: Trump 'Listened to Me' on Climate Change

Says Paris charm offensive was choreographed, might soften Trump's stance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2017 8:33 AM CDT
Macron: Trump 'Listened to Me' on Climate Change
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and and his wife Brigitte Macron, walk from the viewing stand a the conclusion of the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017.    (Carolyn Kaster)

French President Emmanuel Macron says his glamorous Paris charm offensive on President Trump was carefully calculated—and may have changed the US president's mind about climate change, reports the AP. Macron defended his outreach to Trump, whose "America first" policies have elicited worry and disdain in Europe. "Our countries are friends, so we should be too," Macron said in an interview Sunday in the Journal du dimanche newspaper. After a tense, white-knuckle handshake at their first meeting in May, Macron said they gained "better, intimate knowledge of each other" during Trump's visit to Paris last week. On their main point of contention—Trump's withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate agreement—Macron is quoted as saying that "Donald Trump listened to me. He understood the reason for my position, notably the link between climate change and terrorism."

"He said he would try to find a solution in the coming months. We spoke in detail about what could allow him to return to the Paris deal," Macron said. While in Paris, Trump remained non-committal about the US eventually rejoining the climate agreement, telling Macron, "if it happens that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't that will be OK too." Trump has said the deal was unfair to US business. The French leader acknowledged that Trump's Paris visit—including a welcome at Napoleon's tomb, dinner in the Eiffel Tower, and a place of honor at the Bastille Day parade—was choreographed to give Americans a "stronger image of France" after deadly Islamic extremist attacks that hurt tourism. It was also aimed at Trump, who has said Paris has been ruined by the terrorism, which he ties to immigrants. "I think Donald Trump left having a better image of France than upon his arrival," Macron says. (More Emmanuel Macron stories.)

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