French President Emmanuel Macron used his speech at an Armistice Day event over the weekend to take aim at President Donald Trump and his nationalist ideology.
Macron called nationalism “a betrayal of patriotism,” in an apparent criticism of Trump’s comments three weeks earlier, in which he called himself a nationalist over his “America-first” policy, CNN reported Monday.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” Macron said, as translated from his speech. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.”
“I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” he said. “History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.”
Macron made the remarks during a speech at the Armistice Day commemoration, an event held at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the 100th anniversary of World War I’s end. Some 70 world leaders were in attendance.
During a rally for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Oct. 22, President Trump denounced globalism and identified himself with nationalism.
“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can’t have that,” he said. “You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word? You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, OK? I’m a nationalist.”
Trump did not address Macron’s remarks, instead keeping his focus on fallen Americans in his own speech later that day.
“Each of these marble crosses and Stars of David marks the life of an American warrior – great, great warriors they are – who gave everything for family, country, God and freedom,” Trump said during a 10-minute speech at the Suresnes American Cemetery just outside Paris.
In contrast, Macron doubled down on his criticisms of Trump again later in the day, this time over Trump’s Twitter habit.
“I always prefer having direct discussion or answering questions (than) making my diplomacy through tweets. But I think we had a very clear discussion. He is in favor of a better burden-sharing within NATO. I agree with that. And I think that in order to have a better burden-sharing, all of us do need more Europe,” Macron told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
French President Macron on how he differs from President Trump: “I’m not a nationalist, which is very different, for me, from being a patriot. I do defend my people. I do defend my country … But I’m a strong believer in cooperation between the different peoples.” pic.twitter.com/jO3Pm2h958
Macron, a staunch opponent of nationalism, said he calls himself a patriot, but not a nationalist.
“I’m a strong believer in cooperation between the different peoples, and I’m a strong believer of the fact that this cooperation is good for everybody, where the nationalists are sometimes much more based on a unilateral approach and the law of the strongest, which is not my case. That’s probably our difference,” he added.
Jabs between the two leaders appear to have intensified recently as Macron called for an E.U. army to face the “threats” posed by the U.S., Russia and China, an idea that President Trump called “very insulting.”