Trump sent handwritten message to Macron saying 'It's true Emmanuel, I love you', book claims

There has been growing talk of a political bromance

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 23 April 2018 20:16
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Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte Trogneux arrive in Washington

Donald Trump reportedly sent a jokey, handwritten note to French leader Emmanuel Macron, which read: “Yes, Emmanuel, it’s true. I love you!”

As the French leader arrived in Washington, the first foreign leader to be honoured by a state visit since Mr Trump became president, attention has focussed on the warm relationship between the men, apparently initially started when the two engaged in long handshake during a summit in Europe last year.

After Mr Trump returned to Washington, he apparently followed up by sending the French leader press clippings about their budding relationship, sometimes annotated by Mr Trump’s handwritten messages. A New York Times article published in at the end of August 2017, arrived covered in florescent highlighter pen and a message scrawled in the margin: “Yes, Emmanuel, it’s true. I love you!”

The details of the note, which have not previously been reported, are contained in a biography of the French leader, an updated version of which is to be published in the US and Europe later this year.

In the book, The French Exception: Emmanuel Macron, the Extraordinary Rise and Risk, journalist Adam Plowright reveals the clippings with their messages arrived at Mr Macron’s office at the Élysée Palace, via diplomatic mail sent to the US Embassy in Paris from the White House.

Emmanual Macron says France has prood the Assad used chemical weapons in Syria

Mr Plowright quotes one French diplomat who is not named, as saying: “Macron is very intelligent and he speaks perfect English and he worked Trump out. He knows how to talk to him. Our British friends rubbed him up the wrong way at the beginning.”

He says the move to send press clippings came at a time when Mr Trump was speaking warmly of his relationship with the French leader in media interviews.

“He’s a great guy - smart, strong, loves holding my hand,” Mr Trump told the New York Times. “People don’t realise he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes. I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.”

Mr Plowright says US officials have on occasion asked Mr Macron to telephone the White House and leave a message for Mr Trump.

“Among other occasions, this occurred in October 2017 when Trump was considering walking away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, against the advice of his foreign and defence secretaries,” he says.

He quotes Mr Macron’s diplomatic advisor Aurélien Lechevallier, as saying: “We are not going to change Donald Trump’s convictions or the programme on which he was democratically elected.

“But there is a possibility to try to work with him to modify his decisions so that he tones them down. Or to work collectively with others to help overcome the consequences, on the climate change issue for example.”

During the three-day visit, Mr Macron and Mr Trump are expected to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, Syria and US tariffs.

There was no immediate response from the White House to enquiries.

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