President Donald J. Trump urged French President Emmanuel Macron to leave the European Union (EU), offering him a generous trade deal with the U.S. if he did, according to claims made in a U.S. newspaper.
The offer of a favourable bilateral trade deal with better terms than France gets from its arrangement with the Brussels bloc was aimed at “undermining” and potentially pulling the EU apart, it has also been claimed.
President Trump and Mr Macron have developed a close relationship, and during a visit to Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Post, President Trump asked his French counterpart: “Why don’t you leave the European Union?” before hinting at the trade deal.
Josh Rogin, a Washington Post columnist, cited two unnamed EU officials as his source, and described the offer as “an instance of the president of the United States offering an incentive to dismantle an organisation of America’s allies, against stated US government policy”.
The White House and the Elysée Palace have not commented or confirmed the claims, but the offer is consistent with President Trump’s wider suspicion of globalist blocs, including the EU, and multinational free trade deals, which he says disadvantage the U.S.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 30, 2018
Mr Rogin does not report on President Macron’s response to the offer, but it is unlikely he was interested as he is currently pushing for deeper EU integration, and France is a founding member of the globalist bloc.
However, the Washington Post report argues President Trump was attempting to inflict “enormous” damage on the EU.
“Trump has been trashing the EU and NATO since his campaign, but the pace and viciousness of his attacks have increased,” Mr Rogin wrote. “Trump doesn’t believe in the continued sanctity of the European Union and Nato as well as the United States’ commitment to both.”
He added that President Trump’s “intentional and egregious actions to undermine the EU, NATO and the United States relationship with both can no longer be discounted, rationalised or seen as anything but what they are – a brazen attempt to undo the strategic infrastructure both America and Europe need more than ever”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 2, 2017