By Associated Press
U.S. President Donald Trump says French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments that NATO is experiencing “brain death” is very insulting to the military alliance’s other 28 members.
Trump took aim at Macron with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by his side and called his comments “very nasty.”
Macron said the alliance was experiencing “brain death” in an interview with the Economist published last month, suggesting that the alliance was becoming obsolete.
“Nobody needs NATO more than France,” Trump said.
Trump has repeatedly criticized fellow NATO members and complained that too few nations are on track to meet the alliance goal of spending at least 2% of GDP on defense by 2024.
Trump also lashed out at France for a digital service tax that he said unfairly discriminates against U.S. tech companies, including Google /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +3.37% , Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.20% , Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +5.30% and Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.51% .
Robert Lighthizer, the chief U.S. trade representative, on Monday recommended the U.S. respond with $2.4 billion in new tariffs on French cheese, wine and other products.
Trump is scheduled to meet Macron later Tuesday on the sidelines of the NATO summit.