President Donald Trump wasn’t having any of it at the NATO meeting Tuesday in London. It was obvious when he arrived and set his sights on French President Emmanuel Macron who had earlier called the 70 year old alliance of NATO ‘brain dead.’
Trump, sitting next to Macron, then brought up another sore spot with the French leader: repatriation of ISIS fighters.
Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you. You can take every one you want, Trump
‘We have a tremendous amount of captured fighters, ISIS fighters over in Syria,” said Trump.
“And they are all under lock and key but many are from France, many from Germany and many are from the U.K.,” said Trump. “They’re mostly from Europe. And some of the countries are agreeing. I have not spoken to the president about that. Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you. You can take every one you want.”
Macron Defends Position
Macron was quick to say France had already taken some of the ISIS fighters back. He added, “it is true you have a current fighters coming from Europe. But it’s a minority problem of the overall problem we have. And I think the number one priority because it is not yet finished is to get rid of ISIS.”
Trump, who is keeping U.S. forces in Iraq, declared victory over ISIS last year.
“And it is not done, I’m sorry to say that,” said Macron. “Your number one problem are not the foreign fighters, it is the ISIS fighters in the region and you have more and more of these fighters due to the situation today.”
Trump Fires Back
That statement quickly drew a shot back from Trump.
“It’s why he is a great politician,” said Trump, referencing Macron. “That was one of the greatest non-answers I’ve ever heard and that’s okay.”
The issue of captured ISIS fighters and where they will be repatriated has been an ongoing dispute between the world leaders. Macron has said he will accept ISIS fighters back by individual review of each fighter.
By mid-afternoon the two leaders apparently made up after the short and very public squabble, according to reports. However, I doubt this is the last we’ll hear about it, or for that matter the last public battle.