Donald Trump accused French President Emmanuel Macron of sucking up to China late Wednesday.
“You’ve got this crazy world that’s blowing up and the United States have absolutely no say,” Trump, who became the first U.S. president — former or current — to be indicted last month, told Fox News.
“And Macron, who’s a friend of mine, is over with China kissing [Xi’s] ass in China, okay. I said France is now going to China?” said Trump, whose relationship with Macron gradually soured during his time in office.
Macron’s comments come after the French president suggested Europe avoid getting dragged into a U.S.-China confrontation over Taiwan, in an interview with POLITICO during his official visit to China.
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The “great risk” Europe faces, Macron claimed, is that it “gets caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy.”
Macron’s comments have not made him new friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
In the U.S., Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, called them “embarrassing” and “disgraceful. The White House said only that it was “focused on the terrific collaboration and coordination that we have with France,” per National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.
Despite his harsh words for Macron’s China trip, Trump — who more than once boasted about his excellent relationship with the Chinese president when he was in office — went on to praise Xi Jinping in his interview Wednesday.
“President Xi is a brilliant man: if you went all over Hollywood to look for somebody to play the role of President Xi, you couldn’t find him,” Trump said.
“There’s nobody like that: The look, the brains, the whole thing,” he added, describing Xi someone who is “top of the line smart.”