President Donald Trump is media’s favorite for all the wrong and right reasons. Mostly known for his Twitter bombs and offensive statements, Trump in Paris trip was seen in an entirely different mood.
During his trip to Europe, the US President acted completely different from his usual self and chose to not speak. Apart from a critical tweet aimed at the French President Emmanuel Macron, he made no sharp comments at his peers.
Even during a bilateral meeting with Macron, he was seen listless and uncomfortable. On the other hand, Macron’s vigorous energy stood in blunt contrast with the somber expression of Trump, as the French President patted him on the thigh.
Moreover, while other leaders publicly paid homage to those who died on the battlefield during the war, Trump was absent at a scheduled tour of a military cemetery for Americans because of the rain, on Saturday.
On Sunday, more than 60 significant global leaders gathered at the Arc de Triomphe for the armistice centennial in Paris. In the soaking rain, together they marched down the Champs Élysée, expressing cohesion for an international order that marked an end of a World War I 100 years ago.
While all the others were seen walking together towards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived later, separately.
For the US President, the decision to arrive separately was attributed to security reasons, as his motorcade was rushed by a topless protester from Femen, a feminist activist group. He came with the first lady Melania Trump. A few minutes later, Putin arrived as the last person to the event.
Trump in Paris was seen stone-faced and had no speaking role. During the event, he was seen sitting between the First lady and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, alienated from some of the strongest allies of America.
On the other hand, Macron railed against the rise of nationalism — a criticism of Trump’s apparent worldview. He warned the leaders against the dangers of nationalism and the fragility of world peace.
Referring to the World War I, being partly stoked by a rise in nationalism among Europe’s leading powers, he said, “The traces of this war never went away. The old demons are rising again. We must reaffirm before our peoples our true and huge responsibility.”
He also added, “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”
“In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”
But, Trump in Paris remained silent. Many perceived his ignorance as negative, where the president was seen turning away from the world.
A senior political adviser to former President Barack Obama, David Axelrod tweeted on Sunday, “Watching the event from France I cannot recall a time when America seemed so isolated. America First feels like America Alone.”
David Rothkopf, a former editor of Foreign Policy magazine, also mocked the US President, “The isolationism seems to be working. Have you ever seen an American president more isolated than Trump appears to be in Paris?”
In his previous foreign trips, Trump’s presence always had a strong impact. However, in Paris, the leader appeared to be withdrawn and unenthusiastic on the global stage.
The US President’s behavior has brought him to the headlines yet again. However, this time it is for completely an ‘unlike Trump’ reason. Most likely, with the upcoming Presidential elections, he is taking every step with utmost caution. Trump is probably trying to maintain a low-key to avoid the criticism from the expat population.