Almost the same time Air Force One was landing in France, Donald Trump was on Twitter complaining about President Macron, the country’s leader.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly,” Trump tweeted, just minutes after arriving in the country.
Trump is in France for the centennial of the ending of World War I, according to CNN.
Just Tuesday, Macron said the European Union needs a “real European army.”
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” he said. He said the U.S. has been a less reliable ally since Trump became president.
Historically, France was the first-ever ally to America. Through King Louis XVI, France sent the U.S. foreign aid during the Revolutionary War.
As the President and First Lady make their second official visit to France, the historic alliance between America and the French Republic is thriving thanks to the close bond between President @realDonaldTrump and French President Emmanuel Macron. pic.twitter.com/77hCQ3W6GY— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 9, 2018
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” Macron said Tuesday.
Trump has made decisions that have been unpopular with America’s European allies. He pulled out of the Iran deal and the Paris climate agreement, and has made threats regarding trade with Europe.
“Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spite of today’s mood, the transatlantic bond. But at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios, where we will have to act on our own,” the President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, said last May. “Thanks to [Donald Trump], we have got rid of all illusions.”
“Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Tusk said. “He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.”
Trump’s tweet about NATO is an often-repeated thought he has that is woefully ill-informed. Trump has said outright many times that other countries do not pay their “fair share,” and complains about how much the U.S. pays into NATO.
But NATO doesn’t work that way. All 28 member nations of NATO commit to spend 2 percent of their country’s GDP on defense. If the U.S. pays more, it’s because the U.S. has a higher GDP.
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. France, the U.S., the U.K., and several other European countries have all been members since 1949.
World War I created a coalition of countries that came together to end the war, the first time any such undertaking had happened. World leaders from around the globe are gathering in France to celebrate this historic event of coming together, the AP reports.