In targeting Mr. Macron on Tuesday, Mr. Trump extended his complaints to French wine. “On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.,” he wrote. “The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!”
Mr. Macron’s office declined to comment on Tuesday. But Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to Washington, corrected Mr. Trump on the European army. “For the sake of truth, Pres.@EmmanuelMacron didn’t say that EU needed an army ‘against the US,’” he wrote. “It was an erroneous press report.”
An adviser to Mr. Macron said his aim was to reinforce European defense, be more credible in working with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and have more autonomy from the United States. The adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with office policy, said no one said it was an army against the United States. Instead, the idea was aligned with Mr. Trump’s wishes that Europe bear more of the burden for its own defense.
The attack on Mr. Macron came on the third anniversary of a string of devastating terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 dead and more than 600 wounded, timing that was perceived as insensitive on the part of the American president.
“We are already great, especially on november 13th,” wrote Hugo Clément, a journalist for the website Konbini News. “Go back to your room and give the phone to an adult.”
It was not the first time that Mr. Trump had offended France with remarks on the Nov. 13 attacks, which were carried out by a team of Islamic State gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall, in cafes and bars in Paris, and at a soccer stadium in the northern suburb of St.-Denis.
In 2015, before he became president, Mr. Trump was criticized for suggesting that the attacks would have turned out differently if Paris had looser gun regulations. In 2017, Mr. Trump was directly rebuked by François Hollande, then the president of France, for his assertion that a friend named Jim had stopped going to Paris because “Paris is no longer Paris.”