US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron will have a “lunch” on May 25 in Brussels, a senior official of the US administration told AFP.
The two men, who have much in common according to the White House, will be able to “compare their views” during this meeting, on the sidelines of the NATO summit, the senior official added.
The White House believes that despite the rumors that Donald Trump would have preferred a victory of extreme right-wing leader Marine Le Pen, the 39-year-old president and his 70-year-old American counterpart would not be such distant allies As one might think.
“These are two of the newest leaders on the international scene,” said the senior official, saying that the recent phone call between the two men would have gone very well.
“Mr. Trump was very impressed by Mr. Macron,” said the White House member, on condition of anonymity.
The US president was impressed by the electoral score of Emmanuel Macron, elected with 66.1% of the vote on May 7. “This has clearly been a very good election victory,” and although the two men do not necessarily share the same ideas, they are both “outsiders, who transcend traditional political barriers,” he added.
According to this source at the White House, the idea that Mr. Trump supported Mrs. Le Pen was exaggerated and based solely on “a tweet about the borders” and on the passage of the leader of the National Front in January at the Trump Tower.
Donald Trump stressed shortly before the first round that Marine Le Pen was “the most firm” on the borders and terrorism.
But he did not receive her when she came to New York in January and the Trump administration member assured that the extreme right leader had not met anyone from the M team, Trump.
The discussions between MM. Trump and Macron should be dominated by the issue of antiterrorist cooperation, which the White House considers “excellent”.
But they could also have common points on the economy.
“Macron has many reforms in mind,” said the senior administration official, saying the two men could help “revive” the European economy.
The two leaders, however, may disagree on NATO funding.
A second US administration official recalled that Donald Trump “would like to see” European governments bring their defense spending to 2% of their Gross Domestic Product.
“It is a matter of sharing the burden” of NATO defense spending, the official said.
During his visit to Brussels, the American president must also meet King Philip and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.