Scathing words from U.S. president Donald Trump on Tuesday (December 3) as he launched into his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING:
"And I heard that President Macron said NATO is "brain dead." I think that's very insulting to a lot of different forces, including the man that does a very good job at running NATO. It has a great purpose, especially with the fact that NATO is becoming much more flexible in terms of what it looks at. But I was very surprised. I'd like to ask you - what did you think, he made a statement about NATO being brain dead. What did you think?"
Trump is in London for the NATO summit with his European allies.
He told reporters that he could see France breaking off from NATO which he described as a surprise because he believes it needs more protection than any other member state.
He also demanded that Europe pay more for defense and also make concessions to U.S. interests on trade.
Trump's comments underlying the scale of tension in the transatlanic bloc - at a meeting intended to toast NATO's 70th anniversary.