During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump cited that his friend “Jim” told him “Paris is no longer Paris.” Trump used this anecdote to prove his claim that the City of Light was dangerous, no longer worthy of the trip across the Atlantic.
As of today, it seems Trump no longer believes his good ol’ buddy Jim.
During a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, July 13, on the first day of his visit to Paris to participate in the Bastille Day celebrations, a journalist asked Trump if he still agreed with Jim. The republican president was eager to respond: “You know what, it’s gonna be just fine because you have a great president.”
Trump complimented both Macron and Paris extensively, seemingly in an attempt to make up for past negative comments about France and Paris. “I think this is one of the great cities, one the most beautiful cities in the world. You have a great president, a tough president. He’s not going to be easy on people breaking the laws.” The American president finished by saying, “I’m coming back,” and telling Macron, “You better do a good job, please, otherwise you’re going to make me look bad.”
Over the sound of laughter from the press corps and guests, Macron responded, “you’re always welcome to come back.”
We can only imagine good ol’ Jim was watching in dismay.
The two leaders went to great lengths to present an image of politeness and friendship between them. “We have a very good relationship, a good friendship, I look forward tonight to dinner at the Eiffel tower,” said Trump, which Macron confirmed, in accented english, “I can tell you this evening at the Eiffel tower it will be a dinner between friends.” (You really couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a declaration of friendship.)
During the press conference, Trump and Macron were asked questions about Russia, China, good ol’ Jim, and, of course, the Paris Accords. Trump had an entirely ambiguous response to a question about his current position on the environmental pact to reduce gas emissions. “Something could happen with respect to the climate agreement,” he mused. “Let’s see what happens, but we will talk about that over the coming period of time and if it happens that will be wonderful and if it doesn’t that’ll be OK too.”
Putting the Shade War tactics aside, Macron said, “I respect the decision of Mr. Trump,” before insisting that the United States had plans of their own to fight climate change, and that France was more committed than ever to the Paris Accords.