Trump dumps on France

Just after returning from a visit to France where Donald Trump had looked uncomfortable amid tensions between he ande Emmanuel Macron, and where macron had a dig at him over nationalism, Trump has let rip via Twitter in attacks described as lacking in common decency.

Four days ago Trump and Macron try to defuse tension: ‘We want a strong Europe’ – video (Guardian))

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron sought to defuse tensions on Saturday after comments made by both leaders threatened to cast a shadow over a weekend celebration marking 100 years since the end of the first world war.

Three days ago: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism: Macron lectures Trump (Stuff):

By the grave of an unknown soldier, under Napoleon’s grand arch, at the centenary of the end of a great, terrible war, France’s president lectured the powerful.

His audience, metres away, included presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and Recep Erdogan.

Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism, Emmanuel Macron declared. A withdrawal into isolationism would be “a grave error that future generations would very rightly make us responsible for”.

In France Trump looked uncomfortable a lot of the time – except he lit up when Putin arrived at one event.

Trump likes being the big man, the US leader, the world leader, the big ego.

But he seems to treat ‘lesser’ leaders, and those who don’t stoke his ego, with disdain. He dislikes doing many of the the sort of things that any significant and effective leader has to do – deal with other people who may have different views and goals.

On Trump’s return to the US:  Days after visit, Trump blasts France’s Macron as relations sour

U.S. President Donald Trump attacked his French counterpart on Tuesday in a series of tweets that underscored how much the once-friendly ties between the two leaders have soured, just two days after returning from Paris.

In five posts sent on the same day that French officials marked the anniversary of the 2015 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, Trump blasted the key U.S. ally over its near defeat to Germany in two world wars, its wine industry and Macron’s approval ratings.

White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp, meanwhile, cast Trump’s Paris trip in a positive light.

“It was clearly a successful trip,” Schlapp told Fox News on Tuesday, saying Trump and Macron “had a productive meeting” on trade and NATO.

“He has sent a strong message to our European allies. And we have seen some changes and some positive shifts coming from our allies to pay more to NATO. We need their support,” she said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday that Trump had isolated himself at one of the weekend events by deciding not to attend the Paris Peace Forum, which Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended.

Before his arrival, Trump had blasted comments that Macron made in a radio interview in which he appeared to cast the United States as a threat.

Both French officials and the White House said any misunderstandings had been cleared up after Macron and Trump held talks on Saturday.

It doesn’t look like things have been cleared up – it looks more like they have turned to mud.

That in particular is likely to fray raw nerves.

I guess Trump never claimed to be a diplomat, but this will be creating difficulties or US and French diplomats.

Guardian: He came, he sulked, he tweeted: preening Trump on parade in Paris

In political science classes in the decades to come, Veterans Day Weekend 2018 is bound to be popular essay topic in the course on the Narcissist Presidency.

It has all the hallmarks of the Trump era: a fabricated story that congeals as fact in the president’s brain and moments later is broadcast on Twitter. Countless diplomats and officials are sent scurrying to limit the damage, as the chief executive doubles down, refusing to admit a mistake.

On this occasion, after being generally complimentary to Macron during the trip, Trump woke up furious with the French president on Tuesday morning. He repeated the false claim about Macron’s intentions for a European army, and followed it up with the well-worn jingoistic claim that France would be speaking German if it had not been for US intervention in two world wars.

The president then pivoted, as he often does against domestic opponents, to deride the French president’s unpopularity and then signaled he would express his irritation through trade policy, claiming France imposed “big tariffs” on US wine and threatening retaliation. The tariffs on US wine are higher, but they are set by the EU, after trade negotiations with the US, not by France.

Over the first two years of his presidency, the point has been explained to Trump repeatedly. But in his outbursts against Germany, France and others, he ignores the distinction between the EU and its member states.

Whether Trump acts out of ignorance and deafness to expertise, or sheer political expediency has been much debated, but the distinction may not matter much. Raw attacks on other countries and talk of tariffs plays well with his base. Whether they are well founded or not does not matter.

At best, days of governmental effort will now be wasted, but no new tariffs will be imposed simply out of presidential ire. The outcomes could be far worse when it is not Emmanuel Macron on the receiving end of Trump’s petulance but say, Kim Jong-un after the honeymoon with the North Korean regime goes sour, and there are nuclear missiles rather than cabernet sauvignon at stake.

Who knows what trump may provoke internationally. He is very different to any world leader, past or present. His brashness, petulance and ego may shake some things up and do some good, but he is also high risk.

Trump looks to be a provoked disaster waiting to happen.

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12 Comments

  1. David

     /  November 15, 2018

    Macron said he wanted an EU army to protect itself against the US amongst others which is a crazy thing to say given how much support the US has given to Europe through NATO for 50 plus years. The presence of the US military has kept peace in Europe and the Eastern bloc in check and the French dont even pay their agreed amount but hide under the security blanket the US taxpayers generously provide him.
    That a Frenchman can have a crack about nationalism is even worse, the French are one of the most nationalist people on earth, renowned for it. Le Pen,s “nationalist” party is out polling Macrons at the moment and the fool Macron is risking the US/French relationship for his own selfish ends.

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  November 15, 2018

      Macron is risking more than France/US relations, he is risking the relationship between all of Europe and the US.

      Macron isn’t very patriotic (or nationalistic) about being French, he is very Nationalistic about the EU though. When he was elected he had the EU flag and played the EU anthem not the French national anthem. He is a dangerous person.

      Reply
  2. Missy

     /  November 15, 2018

    Only good thing Trump has said! Macron talks about nationalism as a bad thing but he is actually more nationalistic than he is patriotic. Macron’s rhetoric around the EU has echoes of nationalistic (and militaristic) leaders of the past, the only difference is that Macron’s nationalism is for the EU not his country.

    Macron was ill advised in his comments at the weekend and in leading up to the armistice commemoration, he presented a very anti US pro EU agenda which diminished the occasion and the contribution of the American servicemen who served.

    Reply
    • David

       /  November 15, 2018

      It shows what a crazy media world we are in where Macron is given a pass for a horribly political jibe while hosting a very solemn occasion because the media is all in on walloping Trump.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  November 15, 2018

        Yep, it is more about the messenger than the message. I am no fan of Trump and he didn’t acquit himself well over the weekend, but Macron’s ultra nationalistic and jingoistic comments were not well placed, and if they had been said by Trump every media outlet would be jumping on him about it.

        Reply
  3. He certainly seems grumpier than usual.

    he seems to love his rallies where he is cheered and supported. perhaps he is suffering withdrawal.

    Reply
  4. David

     /  November 15, 2018

    “The French government suggested the US president lacked ‘common decency’ by launching his broadside on a day when France was mourning victims of the November 2015 terror attacks.”
    You could say Macrons attack on the US was inappropriate when there are people dying in California fires with 100s still missing. Fatuous argument from the French who are scrambling as the French people are disgusted that Macron would use such an occasion for his own partisan and selfish needs.

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  November 15, 2018

    Macron will be a big disappointment to the French in the end, I expect. I think he’s a seriously weird little plonker, personally. Whenever he meets Trump he’s smarming all over him like a rash, and then he says things that attack him as soon as he gets away from him.

    He seems to be as up himself as Trump is, without any achievements in France to match.

    Still, it’s good to see a European leader provoking Trump – Merkel’s too much of a wimp in her dealings with everyone, including him. Europe is far too reliant on the US and far to vulnerable to its economic warfare attacks if they don’t do what the US wants.

    Reply
    • David

       /  November 15, 2018

      Or the EU is a protectionist racket that Trump is trying to bust open to create a level trade playing field. Or the EU has happily sat under the USA,s security umbrella instead of funding their own defence and NATO,s properly.
      One could argue that the arrogance of the EU is being called out and the uncomfortable truth is they havent payed fair with the world over many decades and Trump is calling them out on it. NZ has long experience of the EUs unfair trade practices…as we do from the US as well.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 15, 2018

        Well, some of those things are certainly true but it’s also abundantly clear when it comes to countries the US wants to attack economically (like Iran) Trump threatens other countries with economic punishment if they go against US sanctions.

        It will be good for the rest of the world to try and create an alternative economic system that is not so reliant on the $US.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 15, 2018

          Trump ignores the fact that the US didn’t bother to come in during WWI until 1917.

          He ignores the fact that they probably wouldn’t have joined in WWII had it not been for Pearl Harbour.

          Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 15, 2018

    Speaking of losers, Michael Avenatti arested for domestic violence. I guess that’s blown his Presidential hopes for the Democrat nomination:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/stormy-daniels-donald-trump-michael-avenatti-arrested-police-custody-domestic-violence-a8634386.html

    Reply

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