State Visit To Test Macron and Trump “Bromance”
French President Emmanuel Macron became the first foreign leader to make a state visit under President Donald Trump this week in Washington, D.C. Although his relationship with the American president has earned him the nickname the “Trump whisperer,” Macron, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be visiting with the president this week in a last-minute lobbying effort to prevent him from walking away from the Iran nuclear deal and they will discuss a variety of issues including climate change, counterterrorism, and Russian aggression.
Despite Macron and Trump’s starkly different backgrounds, personalities, political visions and agendas, the two have struck an unlikely relationship with Elysée (the official residence of the President of France) describing it as “very close.” By all accounts, it appears that the two world leaders speak often and seem to have a genuine rapport and has been dubbed a “bromance” between the two world leaders.
BBC Paris correspondent, Lucy Williamson, commented on the Trump-Macron bromance, “Both Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump were seen as shaking up the political systems in their countries; both are - in their own ways - outspoken, and both like to project an image of strength. It doesn't hurt either, say some on the American side, that Mr. Macron is male, and seen as handsome.”
France, unlike other European leaders, has prioritized their mutual interests in security and counterterrorism with the U.S. to foster their blossoming alliance, rather than their moral visions of the world.
Macron’s visit has also signaled to other European allies that Franco-American relations are strengthening and has pushed France ahead of Germany and the UK to become the primary European contact for the U.S. Throughout the week, Macron will be a guest at a formal banquet, address Congress, and attend an elaborate military welcome.
However, Trump and Macron’s close relationship will be put to the test as Macron and Merkel begin intensive talks with him on Iran and Syria. This is a collective effort to convince Trump to not walk away from the May 12th deadline to restore U.S. sanctions against Iran.
On Tuesday, Trump rallied against the deal, calling the Obama administration’s negotiated deal as “insane” and “ridiculous” while Macron sat next to him in the Oval Office.
Trump has offered scanted assurances to Macron that he was reconsidering his decision to exit the agreement.
“People know my views on the Iran deal,” Trump said, “It was a terrible deal. It should have never been made.”
At a joint news conference later on Tuesday, Macron said he had a very frank discussion with Trump, and he believes that it is possible to forge a new agreement on the Iran issue.
“We want sustainable stability and I believe the discussions we’ve had together make it possible to open the way, to pave the way for a new agreement.”
Prior to his visit to the White House, Macron told Fox that he had no “plan B” for the deal if the U.S. decided to restore sanctions, and said that the U.S. should stay in the agreement as long as there was no better option.
“Let’s present this framework because it’s better than the sort of North Korean-type situation.”
German Chancellor Merkel, who has a far less amicable relationship with Trump compared to Macron, is scheduled to visit Trump on Friday to convince the U.S. to remain in the deal.