Donald Trump 'berated Theresa May in Air Force One phone call'

Trump criticized Emmanuel Macron and his government over trade, the French leader's warnings about nationalism, plans for a European army, the country's wine industry and Macron's approval ratings.

In response to a salvo of confrontational tweets from Mr Trump, the French leader said in a live television interview last night: "Allies owe one another respect". Trump and Macron disagreed on many global issues, including the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal or Trump's decision to slap tariffs on European metals exports.

"At every crucial moment in our history, we have been allies", he said citing France's role in America's independence fight as well as U.S. participation in two world wars and the joint fight against jihadists after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Speaking on board the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean, he shrugged off Mr Trump's personal attacks, saying: "I think the French expect me not to reply to tweets but to stick to continuing the. story of our common history and our common destiny". "Very insulting", Trump wrote on Twitter, as Air Force One arrived in Paris on Friday (local time).

"I think he's playing politics, and I let him play American politics".

But asked whether there was a deeper misunderstanding between the two countries after Mr Macron's comments about a European army infuriated Mr Trump, the French President said being a U.S. ally did not mean being subservient.

"The United States is our historic ally, but to be an ally is not to be a vassal", he said.

"Every day our soldiers fight together, risk their lives together - that's the most important decision you take when you are president", Macron said. "But being an ally doesn't mean being a vassal state", Macron said.

The public dispute was in sharp contrast with the friendly tone that had been a hallmark of the relationship between the ex-banker and the former real estate developer since Mr Macron was elected in 2017.

The following day, Macron's spokesman had this to say...

The fierce broadside comes as Europeans ask whether they should rely on the mercurial Mr Trump and the USA for defence, which has been assured during the Cold War and beyond by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance stretching from Alaska to Turkey.

Earlier Wednesday, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux suggested that the United States president lacked "common decency" by launching his broadside on a day when France was mourning victims of the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

"Yesterday was November 13", Griveaux said, according to the minutes of a meeting of France's Council of Ministers - remarks that were widely reported in French media.

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