Trump, Macron trade jabs over captured ISIS prisoners

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

"It's not fair. If they get attacked, we protect them, but it's not fair, so a lot of changes have been made", President Trump added.

Donald Trump has hit back at Emmanuel Macron over his comments about NATO's "brain death", saying the French President's comments were "very insulting".

Despite a 32-year age gap and very different personal styles, Macron and Trump have tended to put on a show of being best buddies, shaking hands with a tight grip and a big grin, bringing their wives along to dinners and exchanging gifts.

Before meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the meeting, Trump laced into the French president for what he said were "very, very nasty" comments.

"When I look at Turkey, they now are fighting against those who fought with us shoulder to shoulder against [IS]. if we just have discussions about what we pay and we don't have clear discussions about such a situation, we are not serious". "It's a tough statement, when you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to essentially, including them, 28 countries".

"And I think the No. 1 priority, because it's not yet finished, is to get rid of ISIS", Macron continued.

"It's not yet done".

"They asked me whether or not Brexit would happen - I said "yes" and everybody smiled and they laughed...the next day they had the election and I was right, but I stay out of it", he stated.

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"Emmanuel Macron made some fair points in his Economist article, where he talked about the need for Europe to step up, for the need for the Europe, the U.S., and Canada to stay engaged", said Rutte, referring to an interview that the French leader conducted with the British publication in November.

A day after a report surfaced that he is considering slapping 100 percent tariffs on some French imports like wine, cheese and handbags, Trump appeared eager to pressure Macron as he continues wooing leaders like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and feuding with longtime US allies.

Mr Johnson is also set to host talks on Syria with Mr Macron, Mrs Merkel and Mr Erdogan later on Tuesday.

But later, Macron said that while it is "important to have a strategic dialogue with Russian Federation", leaders "must do so without naïveté". But it's a minority problem of the overall problem we have.

"Never even thought about it, honestly", Trump said. "It has a great goal", he told reporters in London.

Explicitly linking his complaint that Europe does not pay enough for NATO's security missions to his staunch "America First" defence of USA commercial interests, Trump said it was time for Europe to "shape up" on both fronts.

Trump said he would be meeting with Johnson at 10 Downing Street later in the trip.

As if to rub salt in the wound, the United States announced it would impose hefty tariffs on French luxury goods, wine and cheese, retaliation for a French plan to levy a digital tax on large tech companies, many of them American. "It's not going to be France". While American support for the alliance has been bipartisan for much of the last century, the Republican has broken new ground, publicly questioning the value of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, condemning NATO as "obsolete", and by some accounts, threatening to withdraw from the alliance altogether. But his presence in London nine days before the December 12 vote is a complication for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and an ammunition for his opponents.

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