Here’s one Trump the French like (Hint: not Donald)





President Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, are looking to set aside differences on trade and climate change and find common ground as they meet Thursday ahead of Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

First Lady Melania Trump, right, and French president‘s wife Brigitte Macron wave after a boat trip down the River Seine in Paris on July 13, 2017.

(Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu, AP)

PARIS — Many Parisians who thumb their noses at President Trump during his visit here are giving a thumbs up to first lady Melania Trump for her grace and oh-so-French style. 

“We don’t know so much about her,” said Vero Baumice, a retired grandmother strolling with friends in central Paris, “but she is elegant.

Baumice also liked her discreet demeanor, “unlike her husband.”

Melania Trump began the whirlwind trip at a children’s hospital, greeting the youngsters initially in French before speaking through a translator.

The children called her “beautiful” and gave her a copy of the classic French book The Little Prince, written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Melania Trump, who has mostly shied from the spotlight since her husband took office and delayed her move into the White House, has played a more prominent role during the president‘s past three trips overseas.

Last week in Poland, she introduced her husband and sat in on a bilateral meeting with Japaneses Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at her husband‘s request.

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The first family‘s first weekend at Camp David started on June 17, 2017. Mrs.

Trump chose an embroidered pinstripe white dress by Gabriela Hearst, plus flats, for the occasion, according to White House Wardrobe on Twitter. Their son, Barron, 11, was wearing soccer gear, and President Trump, who’s rarely seen in anything but a suit, had ditched his tie.

Melania‘s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, also went along on the ride to the rustic presidential refuge about 70 miles from the White House in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains. 
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She was also called in to try wrapping up a lengthy meeting at last week’s G-20 summit in Hamburg between her husband and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(Although the two men kept talking.) 

Anita McBride, who was chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, told Stars and Stripes newspaper that Melania Trump seems to have found her stride in representing the nation abroad: She speaks numerous languages and takes comfort in playing a more dominant role in conversations with foreign diplomats.

“I think she is showing, ‘I’m here, not to be a potted plant, but to be participating and further the objectives of a meeting of this type,’” McBride said.

Her most recognizable diplomatic statements come through her fashion choices: She tends to choose local designers on foreign trips.

For example, she walked off Air Force One on Thursday morning in a bright red Christian Dior suit with a cinched waste and matching pumps. The ensemble was a conscious choice to honor the French fashion house’s 70th anniversary, the first lady’s stylist Hervé Pierre told Women’s Wear Daily.

“I always try to find something that has a little meaning without being too intellectual,” he said. “I am always trying to find something that respects the protocol, the religion or the country that she is visiting.

While the French and U.S.

presidents discuss the war in Syria and global climate change, Melania Trump spent time with France‘s first lady, Brigitte Macron, visiting the iconic sites of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Musée d’Orsay, plus taking a private cruise down the Seine.

French commentators have been quick to point out the differences between the first ladies, especially when it comes to age and their spouses: Brigitte Macron, 64, is 24 years older than her husband — the opposite age difference between President Trump, 71, and his wife, 47.

Brigitte Macron is also heralded in France for her impeccable style, as well as her intelligence and political savvy. While the American first lady, a former model, is said to have a calming influence on her husband, she rarely steps up on political matters.

Not so with France‘s first lady, her husband‘s former high school teacher who is involved in her husband‘s decisions.

“She will have the role that she always had with me, she will not be hidden, because she d my life, because her opinion is important, and because the presidential position carries something of a personal dimension,” President Emmanuel Macron, 39, said in April shortly before he was elected France‘s youngest president.

French Vanity Fair wrote that the afternoon away from their husbands gave the two first ladies a chance to bond. 

“When the cats are away, the mice will play,” wrote Vanity Fair.

“(And they will have plenty of time) to complain about their respective husbands.”


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