Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron’s perceived swipe at President Donald Trump is because the leader of America’s oldest ally is facing his own internal problems.
“I think he’s got a political problem at home, and I think he’s picking a fight with President Trump to play good politics,” the South Carolina Republican told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
During a ceremony Sunday marking the centennial of the end of World War I, Macron called out nationalism, among the causes of the 1914-18 war, with what appeared to be a veiled reference to Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” Macron said through a translator during an event in Paris.
“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.”
Before arriving in France, where scores of world leaders are gathered, Trump took a swipe at Macron for the French leader’s suggestion that Europe may one day have to create its own army outside of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Trump has repeatedly called out America’s allies for failing to live up to their NATO commitments on defense spending.
Whatever the reason for Macron’s words, Graham said Republican presidents have always received an icy reception on the other side of the Atlantic.
“Republican presidents always have a hard time in Europe, and I’m not really worried about this at all,” he said.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine