Donald Trump asked Emmanuel Macron to leave the EU in exchange for quite a profitable bilateral trade deal with better terms that the one the union offered, the Washington Post reports, citing official European sources.
The article titled “Trump is trying to destabilize the European Union” was written by Josh Rogin, an American journalist who also contributes to CNN. Written shortly after news emerged about an upcoming summit between Trump and Vladimir Putin, the opinion piece mainly speculates about the future of the EU and the course it might take.
Back in April, Trump was reportedly discussing trade with his French counterpart when at some point he asked Macron a provocative question: “Why don’t you leave the EU?” Rogin wrote, citing two unnamed European officials. The US leader also reportedly offered the French president “a bilateral trade deal with better terms than the EU” if Paris exited the union, the article claims.
The White House declined to comment on the WaPo report, however, it did not dispute the officials’ account either, the paper notes.
Rogin doesn’t report on Macron’s reaction to Trump’s proposal. However, as France is a founding member of the EU and Macron a firm Europhile, it’s unlikely he’s going to take the US president up on his offer.
The conversation that the WaPo describes apparently took place during the infamous ‘touchy-feely’ meeting between both leaders in April this year. Their ‘transcontinental bromance’ resulted in Trump boasting that he’d changed Macron’s stance on the Iran deal, which the US ditched a few weeks later.
Macron became the first foreign leader to be indulged with a full state visit by the US president in the White House. While the French leader trolled Trump over climate change a year ago, they now seem to be on much better terms, with a common crusade against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
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