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Macron promises France will send America a new friendship tree after the last one died

2019-06-13

First Lady Melania Trump, second from right, and Brigitte Macron, second from left, watch as President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron participate in a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on April 23, 2018. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Don’t count the friendship out quite yet.

After the death of the symbolic friendship tree planted by President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron outside the White House in 2018 — seen by some as an arboreal metaphor for the fraying relationship between the two leaders — Macron promised France will ship a new seedling to the States.

“We should not see a symbol where there is none. The symbol is that we planted it together,” Macron told Swiss public television RTS, according to CNN’s translation. "It so happened that this oak tree for quarantine sanitary reasons did not survive the quarantine in America. ... So another birch tree will be sent.”

Trump and Macron enjoyed a warm relationship often described as a “bromance” following Macron’s election in 2017, but the two have clashed on issues including the Paris Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

Le Monde, the French newspaper that initially reported the death of the tree, immediately described its demise as analogous to the cooling relationship.

But Macron shot down the suggestion of tension: “We will send him another one,” Macron told RTS. “It is not a drama.”