Trump lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, again

French President Emmanuel Macron gives a news conference after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Elysee palace in Paris France

Trump said that French President Emmanuel Macron's words about NATO's "brain death" are "very nasty".

Speaking at a breakfast session alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the USA ambassador's residence in London ahead of Wednesday's leaders meeting, Trump said that Macron's comments were "very insulting" and that he was "very surprised" by those remarks.

Mr Macron said he stood by his comments about the health of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, and also firmly expressed his frustration that Mr Trump withdrew hundreds of American troops from Syria in October.

Brexit is expected to be a focal point of the election and President Trump has previously said Johnson is the most promising candidate to reach a deal. "They have had a very rough year". Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that it might be the French leader who is "brain dead". "And I'm changing that, and I'm changing it very rapidly".

The exchange was a vivid display of the sour turn in the relationship between the two men, who were once close enough that Trump made Macron the guest of his first state dinner as president.

"NATO serves a great goal", the USA president said, adding that Macron's remarks were a "very, very nasty statement essentially to 28 countries".

"It's a tough statement".

"When you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to essentially 28, including them, 28 countries", Mr Trump said.

Trump showed a measure of deference to Erdogan, noting that Turkey was "very helpful" during an October US special commando raid that lead to the death IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi near Syria-Turkey border. Trump appeared to confirm the report about the wine, cheese and handbag tariffs.

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The United States has threatened to impose duties of up to 100 per cent on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products worth US$2.4 billion (S$3.3 billion) after a U.S. government investigation found that France's new digital services tax would harm USA technology companies.

He added that the French President could not "go around making statements like that" and concluded it was "insulting to a lot of different forces".

The president also was asked about several domestic matters, including months-old rumors that he might press Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to seek a Senate seat in Kansas.

The fundraiser is the most explicit reelection event effort Trump has participated in during his trip to the United Kingdom on official business.

In classic form, he took both sides of the fence on the IG's findings. "We can't let that happen", he added.

"We look forward to being able to take the vote on USMCA".

But then he was back to forecasting bold findings, saying: "I hear it's devastating".

And try as Boris Johnson might to keep Trump out of this United Kingdom election and to downplay their relationship, it's far too late. "That's the one that people are really waiting for. It is very disrespectful". "He's worked long hours, I can tell you, and gone all over the world".

As they answered questions from reporters, the chasm between Trump and Macron was most apparent as they discussed their concerns over Turkey's plan to purchase an anti-aircraft system from Russian Federation.

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