President Trump was in London this week, at a NATO conference tackling security issues.
As you can probably imagine, it didn’t go as well as Trump probably planned.
NATO is deeply split over ISIS. Or to be more precise, Trump stands on one side and everyone stands on the other.
This split was highlighted when the French President Emmanuel Macron and Trump held a joint conference with reporters on security threats.
Trump tried to needle Macron but it backfired in his face.
Reporter: Mr President, has France committed to taking back foreign fighters stuck in Syria?
Trump: “Well, I haven’t asked that to the President today… We have a tremendous amount of captured ISIS fighters over in Syria, and they’re all under lock and key. But many are from France, many are from Germany, many are from the UK. They’re mostly from Europe.
[To Macron] Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you. You could take everyone you want.”
Macron: “Let’s be serious. A very large number of ISIS fighters you have on the ground, are coming from Syria, Iraq and the region. It is true that you have foreign fighters coming from Europe, but this is a tiny minority of the overall problem we have in the region.
And I think number 1 priority – because its not yet finished – is to get rid of ISIS and these terrorist groups. This is our number 1 priority.
And its not yet done. I’m sorry to say that. You still have fighters in this region. In Syria and now in Iraq. And more and more. And the whole destabilisation of the region makes the situation more difficult to fix the situation against ISIS. …
Don’t make any mistake. Your number 1 problem are not the foreign fighters. It is the ISIS fighters from the region.”
In less than a minute, Macron undercuts Trump’s entire narrative on ISIS.
He says the job is not yet finished, strongly implying that Trump’s retreat from the region frees up more ISIS fighters and creates more trouble in the region.
Trump doesn’t know what to say. Trying to save face, he calls Macron’s response a “non-answer.”
Trump to Macron: “Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you."
My God. The savagery. pic.twitter.com/C12wwvnz2h
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) December 3, 2019