President Donald Trump continued his overseas trip with several meetings with NATO and EU officials in Brussels, Belgium. Sitting down with the president of France, Trump stunned all of the reporters in the room when he stopped in the middle of his speech, pointed at Emmanuel Macron, and dropped a bombshell no one was expecting.
President Donald Trump met with NATO leaders for a summit in Brussels at the start of his European tour. Tensions were high, as the president has charged that the U.S. is being “taken advantage of” by other members of the NATO alliance, which was established in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union. His main objection is that a number of member states have not increased their defense budgets to meet a 2014 goal.
During a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Trump began by stating how much he respects his French counterpart and appreciates their strong relationship as leaders of their respective countries. “A friend of mine, the President of France, who’s doing a terrific job being President of France. He’s changing a lot of things around. And I guess that had to happen,” said Trump.
“And I think it’s going to be very successful. We have a tremendous relationship. We’re discussing trade. We’re discussing NATO. We’re discussing a lot of different things. And hopefully, in the end, it will all work out. And so it’s great to be with you,” added the president.
Macron then went on to say the same thing to the gathered crowd in French. However, Trump does not speak French, and so he had no idea what remarks Macron was making. But, always with a sense of humor, Trump turned and said something that left the crowd clapping for both men after Macron had finished speaking.
“It sounded beautiful. I have no idea what he said, but it sounded beautiful,” joked the U.S. president.
“I told them exactly the same,” Macron reassured Trump to the laughter of the reporters in the room, “but in French, for French journalists,” he added.
C-SPAN provided a transcription of the rest of their conversation:
Macron: I just reminded everybody that almost one year ago you were present with your wife in Paris for Bastille Day.
Macron: 14th of July. And we’ve worked together for 12 months now.
Macron: And took some great decisions.
Trump: We’ve made some good decisions.
Macron: And we’ll continue to work together.
Trump: That’s right. Thank you very much. Thank you.
President Donald Trump’s amicable and humorous conversation with Emmanuel Macron is indicative of the strong relationships he has fostered with other world leaders from around the globe. An expert negotiator, Trump has found a perfect balance between maintaining diplomatic friendships with leaders like Macron, but at the same time, always keeping the necessary level of respect for America that should rightfully be afforded the world’s leading superpower.
The NATO Summit in Brussels has been a huge success for Trump and the U.S., with other members of the historic alliance finally committing to spend an adequate percentage of their GDP on defense. The U.S. currently spends more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense, paying about 22% of NATO’s running costs. Meanwhile, other members repeatedly fell below their target of spending just 2% of their GDP on defense, leaving the U.S. to pick up the pieces.
But we are no longer going to be taken advantage of, thanks to the leadership of Donald Trump. Now that Trump is in charge, the days of the U.S. endlessly putting out are over.