President Donald Trump publicly lavished praise on French President Emmanuel Macron, even as his aides fumed over France’s handling of the G7 Summit, according to multiple reports.
Though Trump boasted of his and Macron’s “ special relationship” during a private lunch at the start of the summit, his aides reportedly believe that the French organized the event in such a way as to antagonize the United States by focusing on “niche issues” at the expense of economic ones.
Bloomberg News reported that US officials have privately accused Macron of trying to isolate Trump by focusing much of the discussions on climate change, a topic over which Trump is at odds with his fellow world leaders.
The New York Times similarly reported that senior administration officials believe that Macron was appeasing his domestic audience by focusing on climate change, income and gender equality, and African development.
The Americans, on the other hand, had anticipated focusing more on national security and a potential economic slowdown.
US officials told Bloomberg they believed the French were tying to embarrass Trump on issues like climate change, though a French official also told the news outlet that ignoring climate change was not an option.
The US-France controversy wasn’t the only dispute between world powers this weekend. The summit got off to a rocky start, with leaders exchanging barbs, posturing, and even making trade threats.
This year’s summit, held in Biarritz, France, is set to run through Monday.