President Donald Trump looked very much alone in Paris this weekend, isolated from European leaders and longtime U.S. allies as he continued to pursue his “America First” agenda.He seemed most at ease late Sunday afternoon, on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, as he visited the Suresnes American Cemetery and memorial just outside Paris, where the stage and star power were his alone.
There, standing before rows upon rows of simple white crosses with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, he commemorated Americans killed in “The Great War” and paid tribute to the way the U.S. fought alongside European nations.
“Earlier this year, President Macron presented an oak sapling from Belleau Wood as a gift to our nation — an enduring reminder of our friendship sealed in battle,” Trump told the audience, referring to the French president’s state visit in April. “We fought well together. You could not fight better than we fought together.”
He called Suresnes the “highlight” of his trip during his roughly 10-minute speech, and joked to the six World War II veterans in attendance that he hoped “I look like that someday.”
It was the rare moment in Paris, an event where Trump was in control and could try to shine, coming off a weekend in which European leaders rebuked him both implicitly and explicitly. From Macron to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the message seemed clear: Trump is taking the U.S. in a more isolated direction, while former allies band together to reject him.