- President Donald Trump mocked France’s war record and trade practices, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s approval rating, in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
- It coincided with the three-year anniversary of deadly terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
- A French government spokesman said Trump’s behaviour lacked “common decency.”
- Trump previously touted a warm relationship with Macron. That has since deteriorated.
The French government sharply criticised President Donald Trump for mocking French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week on the three-year anniversary of the Paris terror attacks.
Relations between Washington and Paris deteriorated as Trump on Tuesday mocked France’s World War II record, Macron’s approval rating, France’s unemployment rate, and accused the country’s wine industry of unfair trade practices.
“MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!” the US president tweeted.
Trump’s tweetstorm also came as Paris commemorated the three-year anniversary of deadly terror attacks in Paris, perpetrated in the name of the Islamic State, that killed 130 victims.
Benjamin Griveaux, a spokesman for the French government, sharply criticised Trump’s comments on Wednesday. He said, according to Reuters: “Yesterday was November 13, we were marking the murder of 130 of our people. So I’ll reply in English: ‘Common decency’ would have been appropriate.”
Macron himself issued a more subdued rebuke on Wednesday.
He dismissed Trump’s comments as an attempt to drum up support after Republican losses in the midterm elections, telling TF1 television according to Reuters: “I think he’s playing politics, and I let him play American politics.”
The French president also clarified comments he made last week about building a European army separate from NATO – an idea Trump called “very insulting” – by saying that “being an ally” of the US “doesn’t mean being a vassal state.”
Trump did not attend a key event marking 100 years since the end of World War I in Paris this Sunday, blaming the weather at the time. The White House later said it didn’t want to send the presidential motorcade because it would have disrupted traffic.
Macron also delivered a thinly-veiled rebuke of Trump’s politics, saying in a Sunday speech that nationalism – which Trump embraces – “is a betrayal of patriotism.”
Trump previously touted a warm relationship with Macron, having called the French president a “great guy” and a” friend of mine,” complete with intense handshakes and even brushing dandruff from Macron’s shoulder in the Oval Office.