President Donald Trump pulled no punches as he arrived in London Tuesday, calling Democrats “unpatriotic” and describing comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron as “very, very nasty.”
“I think it’s very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance where they do that,” Trump said of the ongoing House impeachment inquiry. “I do. I think it’s a bad thing for our country. Impeachment wasn’t supposed to be used that way.”
Trump also shook markets when he said trade deal negotiations with China might not end until after the 2020 presidential election.
The President made theses comments during an extended and wide-ranging question-and-answer session with reporters.
While Trump has planned meetings with foreign heads of state to discuss a variety of issues throughout the day, many in the press remain focused on his seemingly never ending impeachment inquiry back home. The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on impeachment Wednesday.
But President Trump does not want that circus to interfere with his business abroad.
“I know most of the leaders, I get along with them,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a hoax. The impeachment is a hoax. It’s turned out to be a hoax. It’s done for purely political gain.”
Many observers believe the relationship between Trump and France’s Macron might be weakening, after Trump called recent comments by the French president critiquing NATO “insulting” and a “very, very nasty statement.”
Trump was also very critical of how Macron was managing France’s economy. Macron met with Trump Tuesday and has been warning European allies that the U.S. may no longer be a reliable defense partner.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Macron said.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump called NATO “obsolete.”
“You have a very high unemployment rate in France. France is not doing well economically at all,” Trump said, adding that “they had a very rough year, and you just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO.”
“It’s very disrespectful,” Trump said.
Trump has a rocky past with NATO. At his first summit, the President surprised world leaders when he rejected the basic premise of NATO—that an attack against one country in the coalition would be an attack on all. Trump stressed that it should no longer be the U.S.’s primary responsibility to defend Europe and also said that if NATO members didn’t begin to pay their fair share in defense spending, the U.S. would withdraw from the alliance.
President Trump took credit Tuesday for NATO countries increasing their defense spending by about $130 billion from 2016 to 2020, which was significantly higher than previously forecast.
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