President Trump congratulated Emmanuel Macron for his win in the French election on Sunday night, but also had warm words in April for Marine Le Pen.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron defeated French nationalist Marine Le Pen in the second and final round of the French presidential election on Sunday night. Macron won with a convincing 66 percent of the vote.
Macron will now be tasked with managing France’s tense relationship with the EU, a restless electorate, and a global political landscape that shifts by the day.
One question Americans should be asking: how will Macron and President Donald Trump work together? There are signs they will have a productive relationship, and other signs their different worldviews will clash.
Soon after media reports confirmed Macron’s win, Trump tweeted his congratulations to the centrist on a “big win”:
Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2017
Trump’s tweet came as EU officials like European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warm up to Trump. This is on top of recent reports that Trump is more eager to complete a trade deal with the EU than the United Kingdom.
Macron’s centrist, pro-business policies and Trump’s recent pivot to the EU may lead to a productive relationship between the two new leaders.
MIGHTIER THAN LE PEN
On the other hand, Trump praised Le Pen during the runoff campaign and suggested she had a chance to win in an interview with The Associated Press:
“She’s the strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France,” Trump said in the Oval Office interview. “Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”
Macron also cozied up to former President Obama during the two-week runoff. If Macron speaks out against Trump or his policies early in his presidency, he could poison the well very quickly.
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