Tuesday 22 August 2017

'Could she say the same?' - Australian minister criticises Trump's remark to French first lady

Donald Trump is greeted by Brigitte Macron in Paris Photo: MICHEL EULER/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump is greeted by Brigitte Macron in Paris Photo: MICHEL EULER/AFP/Getty Images

Benjamin Cooper

AUSTRALIAN Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Sunday criticised comments by U.S. President Donald Trump on French first lady Brigitte Macron's appearance.

"You're in such good shape," Trump was filmed on Thursday telling her during his first state visit to France.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks before attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks before attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

"I wonder if she could say the same of him?" Bishop told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, when asked whether she would be flattered or offended if the comment were directed at her.

"I'd be taken aback, I think. It's a rather interesting comment to make," she said.

Bishop declined further comment on the Paris remark, but added an unprompted observation on Trump's use of social media, saying she wouldn't "run a commentary on his Twitter account".

The criticism follows an acrimonious January telephone call between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, when the American hung up after 25 minutes rather than the scheduled hour, according to the Washington Post.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump, next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017.
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump, next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

In June, the relationship between the two countries hit the spotlight again, after the release of a leaked tape of Turnbull mocking Trump at an off-the-record media event.

But the two leaders "get along great," Trump had declared in May, following his first-face-to-face meeting with Turnbull.

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