In a visit laden with ceremony, President Trump, standing alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, took the opportunity to remind everyone about the historic nature of the U.S.-French alliance.
“France is America’s first and oldest ally—a lot of people don’t know that,” Trump said Thursday at a joint news conference. “Ever since General Lafayette joined the American fight for independence, our fates and fortunes have been tied unequivocally together. It was a long time ago, but we are together ... perhaps more so than ever, the relationship is very good.”
Trump’s remarks came on the eve of France’s annual Bastille Day celebration and at the start of a long-anticipated meeting between the countries’ two leaders. Their two previous encounters—the first at the May NATO summit in Brussels and the second during last week’s G20 summit in Hamburg—led many observers to speculate their relationship was anything but “very good.” The two have been cast as diametrically opposed to each other. While Trump has pushed for a more protectionist, “America First” agenda, Macron has positioned himself as a champion of European globalists, pledging to tackle climate change and European Union reform.