"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russian Federation".
"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the USA subsidizes greatly!" tweeted Trump, who is scheduled to meet Macron for bilateral talks on Saturday.
President Trump, who is visiting France with his wife, Melania, for the second time since becoming president, was referring to a call made by President Macron on Tuesday for a "real European army".
"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", Macron said.
Mr. Trump and Macron's early relationship was marked by kisses, frequent meetings and marathon power handshakes.
Trump's comments were in response to Mr Macron's idea for the European Union to have its own dedicated military, created to defend Europe from China, Russia and the US. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S". Since the beginning of his term, Trump has been urging US NATO allies in Europe to up their defense spending.
Trump has demanded that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on their own defense and has questioned whether the US should remain in the alliance.
Trump has criticized existing European tariffs and regulations on autos, and has said he believes it's unfair that barriers are higher for American auto manufacturers seeking to sell in Europe.
The French claim that EI2, comprised of France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Finland, will not be a standing European army, but a "rapid response" unit for joint military operations which would collaborate on military and humanitarian crises and deploy military responses. That effort hasn't yet yielded results, and the Trump administration has warned that countries hosting a so-called "special goal vehicle" to subvert the sanctions could face penalties themselves.
The relationship between Trump and Macron, once described as a "bromance", has long since soured amid the U.S. imposing steep tariffs on EU imports and threatening European businesses with secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.
"If there is anyone today who is carrying the conflict, it is Emmanuel Macron", Le Pen told France's Radio Classique, as quoted by Le Figaro daily.
The statement reads in part, "The Nigerian President will join the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and other world leaders in discussing contributions towards global peace while underscoring the imperative of collective action".