Emmanuel Macron to gift new ‘friendship tree’ to Donald Trump after 1st one dies
Chris Jancelewicz | 14 Days
The “friendship tree” planted by U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron is no more.
The small oak, a ceremonial gift from France to the United States, was bestowed to Trump during Macron’s April 2018 state visit.
100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us. pic.twitter.com/AUdVncaKRN — Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018
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The oak tree was taken from the site of a key First World War battle, where the U.S. Marine Corps repelled a German offensive in the final year of the conflict a century ago.
After the tree was initially planted, it was then uprooted and put in quarantine — a normal procedure for any foreign plant brought into the U.S.
While in quarantine the tree died and was never replaced, according to France’s Le Monde newspaper, which was the first to report about the tree’s death.
In an interview with Swiss network Radio Télévision Suisse, Macron said he would give Trump a new tree to plant.
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“We will send him another, it is not a tragedy,” he said. “Do not see symbols where there are none; the symbol was to plant it together. It turns out that this oak was put in quarantine for American sanitary reasons and the poor thing did not survive. I’ll send another oak because I think the U.S. marines and the friendship for freedom between our peoples is well worth it.”
Just over one year after the ceremonial planting, the dead tree has been viewed as a metaphor for the two leaders’ atrophied relationship — one that showed promise in the beginning. Things turned sour between the two men after Macron gave a speech about the dangers of nationalism in November 2018 while commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the First World War.
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Upon Trump’s return to American soil, he unleashed a Twitter rant about Macron’s supposed approval ratings.
On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S. The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!…….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
He then closed with his famous phrase, with one altered word:
……MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Macron never replied to the tweet storm, and the pair seemed to have mended fences (visibly, anyway) on Trump’s recent European visit for D-Day events.
The White House and Trump have not publicly commented on the tree’s death.
— With a file from Kevin Nielsen