President Trump arrived in Paris Thursday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, and to attend Bastille Day celebrations as the guest of honor on Friday. The trip to Paris is Trump’s first public appearance since returning from the G20 summit of world leaders in Germany.
Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in their talks will work toward setting aside differences on climate change and trade to hopefully find common ground ahead of Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Orly (Photo via New York Daily News)
Arriving in the French capital after an overnight flight from Washington hours before his bilateral meeting with Macron, potential solutions to the crisis in Syria and broader counter-terrorism strategies are tantamount to tackling key issues surrounding differences facing both countries.
Trump’s withdrawal from the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, for example, sparked outrage across Europe, which has generated a base for anti-Trump planned protests—while Trump visits Paris.
A visionary and staunch advocate of research to combat global warming, President Macron reached out to “all responsible citizens,” including American scientists and researchers, “to bring their fight against climate change to France.”
Amid the controversy surrounding his eldest son, Donald Jr., Trump is expected to face scrutiny about emails revealing that Donald Trump, Jr., welcomed the prospect of receiving Russian government support in last year’s presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Contending that Russian collusion efforts are a “hoax” made up by the Democrats, Trump did not delay defending his son, on Wednesday, praising Donald Trump Jr.’s performance in an interview on Fox News Channel. Trump also tweeted: “He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”
Trump’s visit to Paris may have greeted him with a needed escape or ‘proverbial distraction’ from the whirlwind of media reports surrounding Donald Jr.’s email controversy.
President Trump will mark the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I by visiting U.S. troops; he will also be the guest of honor at Friday’s Bastille Day events — a celebration of French national pride. White House officials are casting it as a celebration of the U.S.-French military alliance — both then and now. A lavish dinner at Jules Verne at the top of the Eiffel Tower is scheduled for both leaders and their wives—ending Thursday meetings.
Upon Trump’s announcing his decision on the climate agreement, Trump stated he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Placing emphasis on terrorism, he said the city had been ruined by the threat of terrorism, which he ties to immigrants.
“Paris isn’t Paris any longer,” he said in February.
By bridging the gap between countries working toward potential resolutions, and counterterrorism issues, the move could give Macron and Trump the possibility of a healthy working relationship as he visits a city he often disparaged.
Macron’s national security platform is similar to Trump’s. On Syria, he calls for intervention, noting that President Bashar Assad is a threat to Syria and the Islamic State group is a threat to France. In recent years, France has been plagued by extremist attacks. During last year’s Bastille Day celebrations, a 19-ton cargo truck deliberately plowed into crowds in Nice, killing more than 80 people.
Macron supports intervention against Syria’s government, specifically when strategically addressing measures to respond to use of chemical weapons. Macron believes this approach could prove an important ally as the Trump administration seeks to increase pressure on Assad. Macron cautions that the Trump administration will need to address Russia’s support for Assad, something Trump has only passively acknowledged.
Trump’s four-day hiatus from a public appearance, came on the heels of the White House described as “paralyzed” attemps to tackle the most alarming news to date in the long-running Russia inquiry. Donald, Jr’s attempt last year to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer who was described to him as connected to the Kremlin, which places him as a central figure among many other’s in the Russian probe.
Evangelical leaders gathered in the Oval Office to pray for President Trump. (Photo via Washington Examiner)
An initial plan for Trump via Trump aides was to spend a majority of the week pressing Congress to act on his health care bill. However, two tweets from Trump on Monday would create a media storm, thus placing the health care push on the back-burner to address Donald Jr.’s email controversy surrounding the Russian investigation.
Instead, on Monday, a group of evangelical pastors and religious leaders prayed with Trump in the Oval Office, with some laying their hands on the president, their heads bowed. On Wednesday he interviewed with the conservative televangelist Pat Robertson, host of “The 700 Club” program, on Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network.