Both love a good deal, demand tangible results rather than lofty ambitions, and have a penchant for showmanship. (John MacDougall/Pool Photo via AP)
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President Donald Trump's relationship with Emmanuel Macron got off to an awkward start, with a jaw-clenching handshake at a summit in Brussels before the French president rebuked the U.S. leader for his stance on climate change.In Paris, Trump will seek common ground on diplomatic and military endeavors.Trump could use a friend overseas. Like Macron, Trump will be looking for common ground.Just as Macron flattered Russian President Vladimir Putin with a meeting at the gilded Versailles palace of France's former monarchy, Trump will bask in a Bastille Day ceremony Friday laden with pageantry and military pomp, with U.S. soldiers parading down the Champs Elysees.For Macron, France's youngest leader since Napoleon two centuries ago, it is an opportunity to use soft diplomacy to win Trump's confidence and set about influencing U.S. foreign policy at a time European diplomats say Washington lacks direction.Macron is concerned about Trump feeling backed into a corner, French diplomats said.Daniel Fried, an expert on U.S.-European relations who served under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said Trump had nothing to gain politically at home or abroad by isolating himself.
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