The Latest: Trump says US still wants to help defend Europe

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PARIS (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump in France (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is assuring that the United States will “help” with European defense but repeated his insistence that nations on the continent pay their fair share.

Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron met Saturday after a public spat over the French leader’s suggestion that Europe should rely less on the United States.

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Trump said that Macon “understands that the United States can only do so much.” But he also made clear that the U.S. was not disengaging, declaring “we want to help.”

Macron has fashioned himself something of a “Trump whisperer” in Europe and has forged a close relationship with the president.

Their meeting Saturday, however, included declarations of friendship but lacked their previous over-the-top displays of warmth.


11:30 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is defending his push for more robust European defense in a meeting with President Donald Trump.

As the two men met at the French presidential palace Saturday, Macron called Trump “my good friend” and even appeared to tap him on the thigh. The two men have had an up-and-down relationship.

Their meeting got off to a tense start after Trump called it “insulting” that Macron wants a European army. Macron defended the idea, saying “It’s unfair to have European security today being assured by the U.S.”

“That’s why I believe we need more European capacities and more defense to take this part of the burden,” he said. He says the states in the U.S. don’t ask France or Germany or other countries to finance their armies.


11:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump pulled up in his limousine Saturday at the Élysée Palace where he was greeted by Macron.

The two men briefly shook hands and ignored shouted questions about Trump’s criticism of his French host he delivered as he landed in Paris the night before.

Trump tweeted Friday night that Macron “has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. He added that it was “very insulting” to the U.S. and suggested that “Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO.”

Macron’s office says Trump misunderstood the remarks.

Trump is in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.


10:45 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office says President Donald Trump is confused by French President Emmanuel Macron’s drive for Europe to create its own army.

Trump tweeted Friday night that Macron “has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia.” Trump said that was “very insulting” to the U.S. and suggested that “Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”

An official in Macron’s office said Saturday that Macron didn’t say that.

The French official, who was not authorized to be publicly named, says Trump lumped together two different comments by the French president.

Macron said in an interview earlier this week that Europe needs to protect itself against “China, Russia and even the United States” in terms of cyberspace. Later, Macron reiterated that Europe needs to build up its own military because it can no longer depend on the U.S. for defense.

The two men are meeting in Paris on Saturday, and Macron’s office says this issue will be on the table.


9:52 a.m.

President Donald Trump is asking if there’s anything better than celebrating the end of a war.

Trump tweeted Saturday that he is in Paris to join other world leaders in marking 100 years since the end of World War I in which millions were killed. The centennial is Sunday.

The president asks on Twitter, “Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?”

Before Sunday’s festivities get under way, Trump will meet Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump will also visit the American cemetery in Belleau, France, on Saturday to pay their respects to U.S. soldiers who died on French soil during the war.

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