Watford: US President Donald Trump launched a two-day NATO meeting Tuesday with a blistering attack on France's criticism of the alliance and on "delinquent" members that don't pay their way.
At a news conference held to celebrate NATO's success in cajoling European allies to boost their defence spending, Trump could not resist lashing out at President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron had tried to shake up the agenda for the London summit by branding the 70-year-old Western alliance "brain dead", but Trump slapped him down and warned that he could see Paris "breaking away" from NATO.
"NATO serves a great purpose," Trump said, at a joint press appearance with alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said
"I think that's very insulting," he said of Macron's comment, branding it a "very, very nasty statement essentially to 28 countries. "Nobody needs NATO more than France," he said.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday accused Turkish forces of sometimes working with fighters linked to the Islamic State group in its operation in northern Syria.
"When I look at Turkey, they now are fighting against those who fought with us. And sometimes they work with ISIS proxies," Macron said.