Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron held a press conference during the NATO summit. During the session, the U.S. president made a joke about sending Islamic State members to France, and Macron didn’t seem amused with Trump’s antics. According to Mediaite, Trump and Macron were discussing what France could do about Islamic State fighters who were captured in Syria. When Trump said he would send Macron some “nice [Islamic State] fighters” Macron shot back, “let’s be serious.”
Trump began by arguing that certain NATO members need to pay more taxes. Adding that the U.S. and France hadn’t talked much about the problem, he was sure the two countries could work something out. He was then asked about Islamic State fighters caught in Syria.
“We have a tremendous amount of captured fighters, [Islamic State] fighters over in Syria, and they’re all under lock and key, but many are from France, many are from Germany, the U.K., they’re mostly from Europe,” Trump said.
“I have not spoken to the president about that. Would you like some nice [Islamic State] fighters? I can give them to you. You can take every one you want,” he said, turning to Macron.
After Trump finished his comments, Macron didn’t respond with humor at the attempt at a joke.
“Let’s be serious,” he said.
Macron went on to argue that while there are some fighters that come from Europe, many come from Syria and Iraq, and the problem needs to be addressed in general.
Trump took aim a second time at Macron during the NATO conference, slamming the French leader for his comments about the organization. Macron has been critical about NATO, saying that the 70-year-old alliance had suffered a “brain death” because of lack of leadership from the United States, according to the HuffPost. After Trump pulled troops from Syria, which opened the door for Turkey to invade the country, Macron argued that more people might try to flee the area for Europe.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 3, 2019
Trump called Macron’s statements “very very nasty” and argued that he was disrespecting the organization.
“I think that’s insulting to a lot of different forces,” Trump said. “You just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO. It’s very disrespectful.”
Prior to Macron and Trump’s meeting, the French president argued that they should put aside their differences and focus on what NATO can do to support its members and address global problems.
Trump himself has called the alliance “obsolete,” as The Inquisitr previously reported, and has reportedly argued that the U.S. should leave NATO.