Trump calls French president’s criticism of NATO ‘nasty’ and ‘disrespectful’
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Trump calls French president’s criticism of NATO ‘nasty’ and ‘disrespectful’

LONDON — President Trump on Tuesday slammed as “very, very nasty” and “very disrespectful” recent comments by his French counterpart about the diminished state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.Referring to comments President Emmanuel Macron made last month in an interview with the Economist magazine — in which Macron described the “brain death” of NATO due to lack of American support — Trump attacked Macron during his first remarks on the first day of the NATO 70th anniversary summit in London, calling the comments “very insulting.”“You just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO,” Trump said, sitting next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders Tuesday morning.“I would say that nobody needs NATO more than France,” Trump said. “That’s why I think when France makes a statement like they made about NATO, that’s a very dangerous statement for them to make.”Trump’s tough talk on France came just a day after the United States threatened new tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French products, including wine, cheese and yogurt — a response, Trump’s chief trade negotiator said, to a French digital services tax that the United States concluded is discriminating against American Internet companies.Trump, who has had a contentious relationship with large technology companies such as Facebook and Google since becoming president, said he had no particular affinity for those companies, but nonetheless took a proprietary interest.“They’re our companies; they’re American companies,” he said. “If anyone is going to take advantage of the American companies, it’s going to be us. It’s not going to be France.”Trump comments came during what was billed a photo opportunity between himself and Stoltenberg. Instead, it turned into a freewheeling news conference, which lasted more than 50 minutes and — as the NATO secretary general sat by, only occasionally speaking at Trump’s invitation — covered issues ranging from the impeachment inquiry Trump is facing back home to the upcoming British elections to Trump’s thoughts on whether his secretary of state should seek a Senate seat.Trump arrived in London on Air Force One and amid th

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