World Trump calls Macron comments on NATO 'insulting' and 'nasty'
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The Trump administration is scheduled to decide next week whether to retaliate against France for a new digital services tax that hits American technology giants like Amazon and Facebook. Countermeasures against the tax could include tariffs on French imports.President Trump has sharply criticised steps by European allies to crack down on the technology sector.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Trump said Tuesday that French President Emmanuel Macron's comments about NATO experiencing "brain death" were "very insulting" and "nasty."
"NATO serves a great purpose," Trump told reporters during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in London. "I think that's very insulting."
Trump said he was "very surprised" by the comments and called them "very disrespectful."
"Very, very nasty statement essentially to 28 countries," Trump said.
Trump also said that Macron's statement was "very dangerous."
Impeachment Fight at Home Hangs Over Trump's NATO Trip
The president, who as a candidate labeled the alliance obsolete, has upended past gatherings with his complaints that members must spend more on defense. Mr. Trump, who as a candidate labeled the alliance obsolete, has upended past gatherings with his complaints that members must spend more on defense. But his White House struck a more conciliatory tone ahead of the Dec. 3-4 meeting to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary, taking credit for increased military spending by member countries and declaring that the “trans-Atlantic relationship is in a very, very healthy place.
"Nobody needs NATO more than France," he said.
Macron told the Economist in a recent interview that the world is "currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO" and that the alliance needed to "wake up" and begin thinking of itself as a geopolitical power. Macron also warned of waning support for the alliance on the part of the United States.
Macron's statements prompted scrutiny from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said she did not share his view and called the statement "drastic."
Trump is slated to meet one-on-one with Macron later Tuesday in London on the sidelines of the NATO leaders meeting.
On Monday, the White House proposed tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French goods in response to France's digital services tax, saying an investigation found that the tax discriminated against U.S. companies.
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Trump slams Macron for insulting NATO while insulting NATO
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Trump blasts Macron 'brain dead' comments as 'nasty'
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