An increasingly agitated President Donald Trump hurled insults at journalists on the White House lawn Friday morning as he was leaving to fly to Paris this weekend to attend ceremonies marking the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to the fighting in World War I.
Landing in Paris, he picked a fight with France’s President Macron.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump tweeted.
“Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!” Trump tweet-snarked.
Macron had made the remark Tuesday but Trump waited until he was in town to trash talk the French president.
Macron called Tuesday for a “real European army” to better defend itself “against Russia and even the United States,” Agence France Presse reported.
Macron has lobbied for a joint EU military force since taking office last year. Europe, he said in Tuesday’s Europe 1 radio interview, must reduce its dependence on U.S. after Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron argued.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” Macron said.
Faced with “a Russia which is at our borders and has shown that it can be a threat”, Macron said, “We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.”
Trump had been itching for a fight in the morning too, taking questions and hurling insults during a pop-up presser on the White House lawn as he headed out of town.
Most notably, when CNN’s Abby Phillip asked Trump if he had named Matt Whitaker his acting Attorney General in order to “reign in” Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump shot back, “What a stupid question that is,” adding, “But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.”
Trump ‘s tweet: