President Donald Trump has suggested that Germany may once again threaten France in a tweet aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump and Macron’s relationship has soured over the past few days and was not helped by the President’s visit to Europe.
“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!” Trump tweeted.
Macron has suggested establishing a European army – a move prompted by increasing distrust of the Trump administration and America’s commitment to defend Europe if it is attacked. Macron strongly attacked nationalism during Trump’s visit to France.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said during a speech commemorating the end of World War I. Trump was sitting nearby during the speech, which has been seen as a repudiation of his agenda.
“By pursuing our own interests first, with no regard to others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values,” Macron said.
France and Germany are the closest of allies, and have been since shortly after the end of World War II. They are the two most important countries in the European Union and their alliance has become even more important since the UK decided to leave the bloc.
Trump has repeatedly called for NATO members to pay their fair share of costs, though he has consistently misunderstood the nature of the organization and how it is funded. NATO is not a dues-paying society and it was not created to protect against Germany, but rather the Soviet Union.