PARIS/WASHINGTON, D.C. – US President Donald Trump is not happy with the remarks made by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron about NATO’s “brain death”, US news portal Axios reported on Monday, citing senior officials.
“He’s been down on Macron for a long while,” one official said, as quoted by the portal.
At the same time, another official believes that Macron’s statements may make Trump take a more positive stance toward the alliance to spite his colleague. In November, Macron told The Economist magazine that there was currently no security cooperation between Europe and the United States, essentially leaving NATO in a state of “brain death”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have already expressed their disagreements with that assessment, but Macron has defended his comment, calling it a “wake-up call” for the alliance.
Trump has been critical of fellow NATO allies for failing to meet their defense spending targets. The US currently allocates the highest proportion of its GDP to defense spending, and Trump has threatened to withdraw from the alliance if other states do not follow suit.
Earlier, talks were held in Paris between NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emmanuel Macron. They discussed the issue of arms control in Europe as well as whether it can be said that there’s a crisis inside the Alliance.