Macron warns against nationalism in apparent rebuke of Trump at WWI commemoration

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By Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker and Kelly O’Donnell

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s “America first” approach to international affairs at a ceremony on Sunday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said. “By saying ‘our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”

Macron’s remarks, which he delivered just steps from Trump and a tableau of more than 80 world leaders, come on the heels of the U.S. president proudly declaring himself a “nationalist.”

“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much, and you know what, we can’t have that,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Houston on Oct. 22. “I’m a nationalist. Ok? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word.”

After Macron finished his remarks, Trump appeared to grimace while offering muted and delayed applause.

The White House had no immediate reaction to Macron’s ideological stand. But Trump will have his own platform to respond later on Sunday when he delivers remarks at an American cemetery outside of Paris for fallen soldiers in both world wars.

The groundwork was laid for a clash of worldviews on the international stage this weekend even before Trump arrived in Paris on Friday night.

Nov. 10, 201801:41

And Macron’s comments on Sunday were just the latest sign of tension in a relationship between the U.S. and French leaders that had previously been described as a bromance for its closeness.

Just a day earlier Trump and Macron sought to publicly smooth over a disagreement about the French leader’s push for a stronger European defense, which he said was necessary to protect the continent against not only Russia and China but also the U.S.

The pair described each other as close friends, and the U.S. president said the two are “very much similar in our views,” but that moment of public camaraderie was shortlived.

Trump had also decided to snub Macron’s peace conference focused on international cooperation, which other world leaders gathered in Paris for Armistice Day will attend.

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