PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron downplayed the death of an oak tree he had offered President Donald Trump last year on June 11, saying people shouldn’t read symbols into everything and that he would send the American leader a new tree.
The two men celebrated the special relationship between the United States and France during Macron’s state visit in April 2018 to Washington by planting the oak sapling on the grounds of the White House.
It was put in quarantine because of fears parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.
U.S. officials this weekend said it had died prompting a flurry of social media posts comparing its death to the difficult relationship the two leaders have had since that visit.
Macron is at odds over the American’s unilateralist approach to trade, climate change, and a nuclear deal with Iran.
“We will send him another, it is not a tragedy,” Macron told Switzerland’s RTS network on the sidelines of an International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva. “Do not see symbols where there are none, the symbol was to plant it together.”
The tree, from Belleau Wood in France where almost 2,000 American soldiers died in a World War One battle, had been dug up not long after it was planted.
“It turns out that this oak was put in quarantine for American sanitary reasons and the poor thing did not survive,” Macron said. “I’ll send another oak because I think the U.S. Marines and the friendship for freedom between our peoples is well worth it.”
Melania Trump Goes for Classic Look in Black Dior Coat Dress for Normandy D-Day Commemoration
First Lady Melania Trump opted for a classic look wearing a black Dior coat dress when she joined the president and other world leaders to honor veterans who were in Europe on D-Day in Normandy, France, on June 6.
The Trumps were at the Normandy American Cemetery for a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings; the largest joint naval, air, and land assault that were ever undertaken, which helped free Europe from Nazi rule during World War II.
During the ceremony, President Donald Trump delivered a moving speech to pay his respect to those who died and honor American veterans, saying that they were “among the very greatest Americans who will ever live.”
The first lady’s choice of attire included a black coat dress from Dior that cut below the knee complimented with a pair of black pumps by French designer Roger Vivier, which features a metal buckle at the front, reported WWD. She completed the look with a pair of dark sunglasses.
By Marine Pennetier
Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report