Trump slams Macron for ‘insulting’ plan to build up Europe’s military


Donald Trump Maligns Macron As He Lands In Paris After Insulting Press On Way Out Of Town

Trump began his visit to France with a Twitter insult aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron, writing that "perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

While Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the US Senate, they lost control of the US House of Representatives to Democrats who may use their newfound power to launch investigations into Trump and stymie his agenda.

The White House's decision on Saturday to scrap the president's visit to a cemetery for fallen American soldiers due to weather is creating a bit of a storm of its own.

French President Emmanuel Macron sought to defuse a row with USA counterpart Donald Trump earlier on Saturday, hailing the "great solidarity" between their countries after Trump blasted his proposals for a European army.

Trump added that the US wants to "absolutely be there" to help defend Europe but that "different countries have to also help".

The Paris commemorations, centred on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, are set to feature warnings about the modern-day danger of nationalism.

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The cemetery is the final resting place of numerous 1,800 American soldiers killed in the battle of Belleau Wood.

Not on Mr Trump's schedule, despite earlier discussions about the possibility, was an extended meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Simultaneously starting on Sunday, France is holding a Peace Forum, a massive three-day global event that ends Tuesday and includes world leaders and civic society.

"We want to help Europe, but it has to be fair", Trump added, echoing questions he has previously posed about NATO's future and funding.

Talks may also cover European concerns about Trump's plans to withdraw the United States from the 1980s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement and U.S. renewal of sanctions against Iran.

Macron attempted to smooth over the divisions, saying he shared Trump's view on the need for Europe to boost defence spending.

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Trump is now in France, commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I. He and the First Lady were scheduled to visit the Aisne-Marne American cemetery in Belleau and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron lay a wreath (left) in the Clearing of Rethondes or the Glade of the Armistice on Saturday. Macron then took Merkel's hand in his, again highlighting the changes on the continent where two world wars were fought in the 20th century.

Trump was later due to attend a leaders' lunch hosted by Macron.

Merkel said in a statement the forum showed that "today there is a will, and I say this on behalf of Germany with full conviction, to do everything to bring a more peaceful order to the world, even though we know we still have much work to do". Instead the president returned to the US ambassador to France's residence, where he and the first lady are staying in Paris, for about four and a half hours.

Mr Trump originally wanted to celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday with a grand military parade in Washington, as he was inspired by the tanks and flyovers he saw during France's Bastille Day celebrations when he visited Paris in July of previous year.

Europe and its security.

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The dust-up over European security, which threatened to divert attention from the weekend's sombre remembrance ceremonies, was just the latest example of fallout from Mr Trump's brand of Twitter-assisted diplomacy.

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