Macron Takes Not-So-Subtle Shots at Trump in Speech to Congress

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France’s president Emmanuel Macron addresses a joint meeting of Congress. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The affection between French president Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump has been on full display this week, with the two world leaders unable to keep their hands off of each other. But the relationship that’s been called a “transcontinental bromance” may turn cool Wednesday after Macron’s address to Congress, which included a handful of jabs at Trump’s policies and preferences.

Macron began his speech with a lengthy rundown of the historical connection between France and the U.S., eventually working his way to the present. That’s when he began criticizing Trump without using his name.

Macron said the world must embrace multilateralism and reject “isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism.” In a clear rebuke of Trump’s “America First” tendencies, he added: “It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy for our fears. But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world.”

He went on to criticize leaders who attempt to capitalize on “fear and anger,” a group that would include both President Trump and Marine Le Pen, Macron’s right-wing opponent in the 2017 election who won Trump’s support.

On the issue of climate change, Macron did not mince words. “We are killing our planet,” he said. “Let’s face it: There is no Planet B.” His play on words drew a standing ovation from Democrats, while Republicans remained seated.

Macron then used Trump’s own campaign slogan to advocate for transitioning to a “low carbon economy” and fighting the disastrous effects of climate change, which Trump has called a “hoax.”

“Let us work together in order to make our planet great again and create new jobs and new opportunities, ones that guard the Earth. One day, the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement and I am sure we can work together,” Macron said.

On trade, Macron emphasized the need for “free and fair trade” while turning up his nose at Trump’s tariffs. “Commercial war is not the proper answer,” he said. He also reaffirmed France’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has called “insane” and “terrible.”

Despite the jabs, Macron was sure to end the speech on a friendly note, saying, “This is a time of determination and courage. What we cherish is at stake. What we love is in danger. We have no choice but to prevail. And together we shall prevail.”

Macron Takes Shots at Trump in Speech to Congress