The stakes behind the 'Trump and Macron show'

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US President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to Paris last week saw him courted with great pomp and ceremony by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron whose red-carpet welcome provided Trump with a welcome diversion from political turmoil at home and a rare break from his isolation on the international stage. Macron, meanwhile, seized the opportunity of the vacuum created by Brexit and forthcoming elections in Germany to position Paris as Washington’s new “special friend” in Europe. Mediapart’s Washington correspondent Philippe Coste reports on how the manoeuvring was viewed from across the Atlantic.

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During his presidential election campaign last year, Donald Trump spoke of how a mysterious friend called Jim (Trump never revealed his full identity) had stopped his previous regular family travels to Paris because, “Paris is no longer Paris”. Jim, according to Trump, had stopped visiting the French capital because it was no longer safe, but Trump implied the backdrop was a city overrun by immigrants.