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Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron’s relationship explained

Information on French President Emmanuel Macron is among the documents the FBI seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, according to reports.

During the seizure of the Florida residence, the FBI said it recovered handwritten notes, photos and top-secret materials that the former president should have turned over to authorities upon leaving the White House. According to a story in Rolling Stonethe federal investigators’ inventory contained items related to Macron listed as “info re: President of France”.

news week could not verify the existence of the intelligence reports on the French president, but contacted the FBI for comment on the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

In this combined image, former U.S. President Donald Trump (right) exits Trump Tower on August 10, 2022 in New York City and French President Emmanuel Macron at the residence of the French ambassador to Algeria in Algiers on August 26, 2022. August 2022.
Getty

Rolling Stone he said it was unclear whether Macron’s files contained information about his personal life or why Trump might have collected information about his French counterpart.

But the news that Trump may have collected information on the French president is enough to cause a transatlantic diplomatic scandal, since the collection of information on the leader of an allied nation would be considered highly unusual.

Four years of the Trump administration are known to have tested US-European relations, but it is perhaps with Macron that the former president had one of the most significant falling out during his time in office.

The two, who initially had a “great relationship,” according to Trump, saw their relationship deteriorate severely over four years, with the former president calling Macron “very, very unpleasant” and “insulting” after the French president criticized Trump’s withdrawal. US troops. from Syria in 2021.

But the relationship between the two was awkward from the start.

A meeting between the two in May 2017 was marked by a much-talked about extended handshake that many described as a power play rather than a handshake between two world leaders and which Macron himself described in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche Newspaper as not “innocent” and “a moment of truth”.

The two went on to have a history of awkward handshakes.

Uncomfortably between the two was also the fact that Trump had supported Macron’s rival, Marine Le Pen, then leader of France’s far-right National Assembly, during the country’s presidential election.

By the end of the same year, Macron was constantly criticizing Trump for his beliefs on climate change and encouraging US climate scientists to move to France with “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants, a clear nod to “Make America Great Again.” of Trump. slogan.

In April 2018, when Macron visited the United States, Trump told the press that the two had “a great relationship” and that Macron was “a special friend,” while brushing a “little bit of dandruff” from the French president’s shoulder in front of to the. the cameras

In June of the same year, Macron called for Trump’s exclusion from a joint G7 statement on trade after the former president decided to impose controversial steel and aluminum tariffs on European products.

“The American president may not mind being isolated, but we also don’t mind signing a six-country deal if necessary.” Macron wrote on Twitter.

Macron’s stance against Trump’s isolationism grew stronger over time, with the French president declaring in November 2018 that Europe could no longer rely on the United States for its military defense. Trump called the comments “very insulting.”

The situation escalated again in December 2019, when Macron called NATO “brain dead” after the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. Trump called the French president’s statement “very, very unpleasant” and threatened to add tariffs to French products such as cheese and champagne.

A book written by former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, published in 2021, claimed that Trump had called Macron “a cowardly chap” and “a hundred and twenty pounds of fury.”


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