Trump and Macron clash at NATO summit
French President Emmanuel Macron pushed back after President Trump asked if France was willing to take back French terrorists who have been captured in Syria and other regions.
"We have a tremendous amount of captured fighters, ISIS fighters over in Syria. And they're all under lock and key, but many are from France. Many are from Germany, the UK. They're mostly from Europe. And some of the countries are agreeing. I have not spoken to the President about that. Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you," Trump said.
Macron acknowledged that some fighters come from Europe — but said most of them are from the Syria and Iraq region.
"Let's be serious: The very large numbers of fighters you have on the ground, are the fighters coming from Syria, from Iraq and the region," Macron said. "It is true that you have foreign fighters coming from Europe, but it's a tiny minority of the overall problem we have in the region." he said.
He continued: "The No. 1 priority — because it's not yet finished — is to get rid of ISIS and terrorist groups.This is out No. 1 priory."
President Trump, when asked about NATO spending, said countries that aren't investing enough in defense will be "dealt with."
"Maybe I'll deal with them from a trade standpoint. Maybe I'll deal with them in a different way... we don't want to have people be delinquent," Trump told reporters while sitting next to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump added that it's not fair to the US — or to France — if other countries "aren't paying their way" in NATO.
Trump also said that NATO has made a lot of progress since he took office, telling reporters, "it's very important to me."
French President Emmanuel Macron, sitting alongside President Trump in London, said he stands by his comments about NATO – describing it as a “burden we share.”
Macron a few weeks ago described NATO as being “brain dead” – comments Trump described earlier Tuesday as “nasty” and “insulting.”
“I know that my statements created some reaction,” Macron said in English. “I do stand by [them].”
President Trump claimed that NATO countries are contributing more financially because of him.
"What I'm liking about NATO is that a lot of countries have stepped up. I think, really, at my behest," he said at a news conference speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. He added that France is "close to the level."
"They've stepped up and they've put up a lot of money. I told you it was $130 million — $130 billion, and that's a lot. And they're now stepping up again. It's going to be $400 billion," he added.
NATO members' financial contributions have long been a complaint for Trump: In 2017, he chided NATO member countries directly for not meeting their financial commitments to the alliance and declined to reiterate US commitment to the alliance's mutual defense pledge.
Remember: Last week, the Trump administration moved to substantially cut its own contribution to NATO's collective budget according to several US and NATO officials.
When asked about European fighters in the Middle East, French President Emmanuel Macron said they only represent a small percentage of ISIS fighters on the ground.
He added that NATO's "number one priority is to get rid of ISIS."
Trump, sitting beside Macron, then told reporters: "This is why he's a great politician, because that's one of the greatest non-answers I've ever heard."
Earlier, Macron said NATO doesn't "have the same definition of terrorism around the table."
"Turkey is fighting against those who fought with us," he added in reference to its offensive earlier this year against Syrian Kurds who fought ISIS alongside US allies.
President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are taking reporters' questions at a news briefing in London. We'll be covering it live here.
To an outsider, the differences between a "summit" and a "meeting" might appear negligible. In the context of a NATO gathering, wording has a huge effect.
NATO is not calling this week's leaders' meeting, a "summit," in order to avoid putting out a communique at the end, which President Trump may not sign, a NATO source has told CNN.
Given the difficulty of getting Trump to agree to the language of a communique and sometimes with him not signing at all, such as the G7 in 2018, the alliance made the decision to just avoid one altogether.
Or at least, that's the wording they're opting for now. Back in May, when the gathering was announced, NATO put out a press release calling it a "summit."
US President Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed "Tariff Man," is back in action — injecting fresh volatility into markets just as stocks had notched a string of record highs.
What's happening: Trump told reporters in London that the signing of a US-China trade deal is entirely at his discretion, and indicated that an agreement may not come until 2020 — or later. "I have no deadline," he said. "In some ways I think it's better to wait for after the election, if you want to know the truth."
US stock futures turned negative after Trump's comments, and yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond plunged. The VIX, a measure of market volatility, shot up more than 6%.
Read more here:
President Donald Trump's claim that even if the US were handed Britain's National Health Service (NHS) on a "silver platter we would want nothing to do with it," doesn't chime entirely with US trade policy.
While it's true that American companies are not interested in running NHS hospitals, they are very keen to win NHS drug procurement contracts.
So keen, in fact, that it's stated as a specific negotiating objective in the Administration's priorities for any trade deal with the UK.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he could "categorically rule out" that "any part of the NHS will be on the table in any trade negotiations" including pharmaceuticals.
"This is pure Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle stuff," he added, according to PA news agency.