Speaking before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an impassioned, wide-ranging speech rebuking some of President Donald Trump’s signature policies while urging the United States not to close its doors to the international community.
The remarks, which prompted standing ovations from Democrats in the chamber, were seen as a veiled but sharp denunciation of his American counterpart’s doctrine. He urged the US to rejoin the Paris climate agreement—”There is no Planet B,” Macron said, sparking loud applause—and condemned the rise of nationalism throughout the world.
“We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism—this is an option,” Macron said. “It can be tempting to us as a temporary redemptive to our fears. But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse, but inflame, the fears of our citizens.”
Macron’s speech comes at the end of a three-day state visit to Washington where the two world leaders appeared to go out of their ways to demonstrate a strong bond, repeatedly shaking hands and patting each other’s backs. “We do have a very special relationship,” Trump said Tuesday, before brushing off what he said was a piece of dandruff from Macron’s shoulder on live television.
Trump was not in the room for Macron’s speech to Congress.