Le Pen Criticizes Trump for Changing His Mind on NATO

  • French candidate says administration may have swayed Trump
  • U.S. president said military alliance was “no longer obsolete”

Trump Says NATO Is No Longer Obsolete in Terror Fight

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Friday U.S. President Donald Trump had apparently changed his mind on the U.S.’s role as the world’s policeman, adding he may have been swayed by his administration.

During an interview on France Info radio, National Front leader Le Pen -- whom opinion polls say would win the first round of the election on April 23, but lose the runoff to any rival on May 7 -- was played a recording of the U.S. president’s remarks on Wednesday in which he said the NATO military alliance was “no longer obsolete” in fighting terrorism.

Trump made the comments at a White House press conference after meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Trump had said in January that NATO was “obsolete.”

“Undeniably he is in contradiction with the commitments he had made,” Le Pen said. Among her key proposals, the French far-right candidate wants France to quit NATO.

“I am coherent, I don’t change my mind in a few days. He had said he would not be the policeman of the world, that he would be the president of the United States and would not be the policeman of the world, but it seems today that he has changed his mind,” she said.

“Will he persist, or is it a political coup which facilitates his domestic policy, I have absolutely no idea. But I am coherent in my analyzes, when something favors France I say so, when it doesn’t I say so too,” Le Pen said.

Asked whether she would also contradict herself if she won power, Le Pen replied: “That the American administration bears a part in the decisions of Mr Trump may also be an explanation, but I am the candidate who defends the superiority of politics over the administration, the bureaucracy, the economic, and so I think it is politics which must decide.”

But Le Pen, who has made terrorism and immigration key platforms of her campaign, invoked a U.S. role as she reiterated her appeal for what she called “a big coalition of countries which fight Muslim fundamentalism in which there will be of course the U.S., Russia, countries like Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Chad.”

Le Pen also said she had no regret for having met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hasn’t reneged on his support of Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad after a chemical weapon attack on a Syrian village on Apr.4.

“Why, when I want to be president of the French republic, should I have the least regret for meeting the president of that great country which is Russia, which is a heavyweight in the world,” she said.

Pressed to say if she believed whether the chemical attack, denied by Assad, actually occurred, Le Pen said: “I don’t believe anyone. I think we have to wait for the results of the international investigation.”

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.