Trump Commemorates D-Day With European Leaders Who Increasingly Distrust Him
President Donald Trump will today mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings – the decisive event that turned the tide of World War II. Trump will appear with European leaders and traditional US allies at a time when those leaders are increasingly separating themselves from Trump.
Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom was met with large protests, including from the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, though the ruling Conservatives have been largely supportive of him. Candidates competing to be the next British prime minister have vied for Trump’s attention.
The situation is very different in the rest of Europe. France, America’s oldest ally, is frequently at loggerheads with the Trump administration. President Emmanuel Macron continues to support the Paris climate accord and the nuclear deal with Iran, to the annoyance of the White House.
Indeed, the major EU member states have stuck to both international agreements as the Trump administration has repudiated them. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will attend the commemoration today, has hinted that Europe will have to take more responsibility for its own security.
Trump remains deeply unpopular in western Europe despite an upsurge in nationalism and right-wing parties, many of which draw inspiration from Trump. In Ireland on Wednesday – a country where there has been no rise in right-wing support – Trump suggested there would be a border and a wall on the island, something the governments of Ireland the UK are desperately trying to avoid.
Trump’s appearance with European leaders will make for an interesting contrast at a time when the United States is increasingly viewed as less stable and less reliable than it once was. ‘America First’ is not a phrase that inspires trust among America’s traditional friends.