President Donald Trump shot back at French President Emmanuel Macron over Macron’s call for an EU Army to protect against countries including the United States this week.
“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,” Trump said Friday. “Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
This week Macron called for a “real European army” to protect against China, Russia, and the United States. During the Europe 1 interview, he said, “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.” Breitbart London reported that he made the comments on a tour of an area of northeastern France that made up the Western front. The tour was commemorating a century since the end of World War I, in which 116,000 Americans fell while defending Europe.
The European Union announced in May a 13 billion Euro military defense fund. The fund sets the stage for integration of EU military, something that anti-Brexit enthusiast Nick Clegg once dismissed as a “dangerous fantasy.”
Brexit leader Nigel Farage blasted EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker in July over the ‘PESCO’ project. Juncker had demanded a 2025 deadline for creating a “fully-fledged Defence Union.” Farage charged, “You appear to be hell-bent on pushing for your European army, hell-bent for a foreign policy without veto, and hell-bent to be on a direct collision course with President Trump and with NATO.” He went on, “You can’t have a European army and NATO existing side-by-side.” The comments came a week ahead of a NATO Summit.
Trump arrived in France with first lady Melania Trump Friday evening to commemorate the end of World War I. The U.S. first couple hosted Macron and his wife Brigitte for a state visit at the White House this year. The Macrons had previously hosted the Trumps for a visit during Bastille Day. Trump and Macron had presented their relationship as a good friendship in the earlier days of Macron’s ascension as president of France.