French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was suffering “brain death” as some European Union member nations discussed forming their own security and defense organization.
Macron’s comments come as NATO reaches its 70th anniversary this year. It opened its meetings in London Tuesday with a joint press conference between President Donald Trump and Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.
Trump said Macron’s comments were “insulting to a lot of different forces” and “nasty to 28 countries.” He pointed out that France’s economy was in a slump and said he might impose tariffs on some French products as France has proposed taxing some U.S. commodities.
Trump also said that Macron’s comments were “disrespectful” and commented that “nobody needs NATO more than France.” Stoltenberg also disagreed with Macron’s comments and credited Trump with encouraging member nations to pay their fair share to the organization.
“NATO is active, NATO is agile, NATO is adapting,” he said. “We are stepping up the fight against terrorism, and for the first time as an alliance we are investigating the security implications of China… NATO is the only place where North America and Europe meet every day to discuss and take actions together, responding to a wide range of different security threats and challenges.”
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