France accuses Donald Trump of lacking ‘common decency’ for tweets on anniversary of Paris attacks
Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman accused Donald Trump of lacking “common decency” Wednesday after the US President blasted his French counterpart in a series of tweets following his visit to Paris.
During a pointed speech at the Elysée Palace in Paris, Benjamin Griveaux took issue with the timing of Trump’s barbs on Tuesday, the same day the country marked the anniversary of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.
“I’ll answer you in two words about these tweets. Yesterday was the 13th of November. We commemorated the assassination of 130 of our compatriots three years ago in Paris and Saint Denis,” he said. “So I will answer him in English; common decency would have been good. I will not have any other comment to make.”
Griveaux was responding to a barrage of tweets from Trump on Tuesday, in which he mocked President Macron’s low approval ratings, complained about France’s “unfair” trade policy on products including wine, and criticized France for its near defeat to Germany in both world wars.
“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 wrote in one tweet.
“On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S. The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!” Trump wrote in another tweet.
“The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!……..” he added in a third tweet.
Trump’s broadsides against Macron came on the heels of the President’s controversy-laden trip to France to mark the centenary of the armistice of World War I.
Immediately after touching down in Paris on Friday evening, Trump tweeted his indignation over Macron’s recent call for a “real European army” and further bolstering of European security cooperation to “protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”
A senior French official said at the time that Trump took Macron’s words out “out of context” and clarified the language Macron used, saying that the French leader did not mean he wanted a European army but better coordination and funding of Europe’s already-existing resources.
Trump’s tweets on Tuesday also appeared to be in response to criticism he received during his trip to Paris, both from Macron and the press.
The French leader appeared to take a direct jab at Trump’s “America First” policy during his keynote speech at the armistice commemorations at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday, in which he said “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.”
Trump was also criticized for failing to attend a moment of silence at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery and memorial at Belleau, located around 100 kilometers northeast of Paris, due to adverse weather conditions.
In another tweet on Tuesday, Trump wrote: “By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!”