Escaping domestic chaos over the ongoing Russia links scandal, US President Donald Trump landed in Paris on Thursday for talks with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
The trip comes just days after Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., released an email chain which shows he was keen to accept allegedly damaging information on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer during last year’s presidential campaign.
While Trump may have made a lot of noise in defending his son, his voice on domestic policies seems to be weaker. His healthcare bill still has not been passed and the tax system remains to be overhauled.
The Independent newspaper described scenes in the White House as resembling a “category five hurricane” as his team scrambles to get a damage limitation response together.
The Paris trip gives Trump a break from the chaos swirling at home.
He will meet Macron on Thursday afternoon and attend the national Bastille Day festival on Friday, which includes watching a military parade on Champs-Elysees.
American troops will also join in this year’s parade in commemoration of 100 years since America joined World War I to fight alongside France.
Trump and Macron are seen to have little in common politically.
Macron has openly criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate change agreement and at the end of last week’s G20 Summit, said he would continue to press the US president on climate change.
Macron also pointed out that the US has adopted a strongly protectionist stance on trade since Trump took office, while strongly defending free and fair trade.
But despite these differences, the two leaders have some incentives to improve bilateral ties:
Trump needs a friend overseas to avoid being totally isolated by the international community while Macron wants to improve France’s decreasing influence in global affairs.
Analysts say talks between the two leaders are likely to touch on security and anti-terrorism efforts and may avoid contentious topics like climate change and trade.
No matter how the Paris trip goes, with his appreciation rate hovering around 40 percent, Trump will eventually have to head home to clear up the mess.
The investigation into Russia’s alleged intervention in last year’s election is still ongoing and new evidence may well emerge. (cgtn)