President Trump took some lumps in France over the weekend, but he fired back with a Tuesday morning tweetstorm in which he jabbed at Emanuel Macron and France's war records, and sought to explain his no-show at a ceremony event to honor WWI soldiers. It all culminated with this tweet: "MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!" The specifics:
- The war slam: "Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia," Trump wrote. "But 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 U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!"
- That army: Trump was referring to Macron's call earlier this month for a "true European army." In an interview with a French radio station, he said Europe could not rely on the US. "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America," he said. The BBC has more coverage of the interview. Trump had previously called Macron's remarks "very insulting," notes the Guardian.
- Cemetery no-show: While in France for WWI ceremonies, Trump took criticism on Saturday for skipping an event at a cemetery because of rainy weather. On Tuesday, he explained: "By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetary in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!"
- Getting trolled: Among those poking fun at the Trump no-show was the actual French army. It tweeted a photo of a recruit in the rain, captioned: "There is rain, but it does not matter," per the Washington Post. "We remain motivated."
- Hitting Macron: On Sunday, Macron made a speech denouncing the type of nationalism embraced by Trump. On Tuesday, Trump took his own shot: "The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%," he wrote. "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!"
- In vino, tariff problems: "On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.," wrote Trump. "The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!"
- Catching up: A post at Vox rounds up all the controversies of Trump's trip to France and provides additional context. One key paragraph: "Given Trump’s somewhat icy interactions with Macron, a picture of Trump beaming at Putin—while Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stare back, stone-faced—was a stark visual reminder of the schisms among allies."
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