French President Emmanuel Macron trolled President Trump for the ages on Monday, when he brought the climate-change denialist the gift of a tree during a state visit.
The two leaders and their spouses posed for photos while planting the young European sessile oak on the White House grounds.
This is becoming somewhat of a party trick for Macron. Last year, when Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, Macron responded by posting a video online urging viewers to “make our planet great again” and inviting climate scientists to move to France.
Macron’s gift may have been a double troll, layering in a statement on world peace: The sapling was taken from Belleau Wood outside of Paris, site of a World War I battle in which 1,811 U.S. Marines were killed.
“100 years ago, American soldiers were fighting in France, in order to defend our freedom,” tweeted Macron. “This oak (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder, in the heart of the White House, of this bond that unites us.”
Il y a 100 ans, des soldats américains se battaient en France, à Belleau pour défendre notre liberté.
Ce chêne (mon cadeau à @realDonaldTrump) sera un rappel, au cœur de la Maison Blanche, de ce lien qui nous unit. pic.twitter.com/7uJcAclPBR
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018
During the tree-planting ceremony, Trump said that France is a “very special country” and remarked on the gift. “I love the tree. It’s a great honor,” he said.
Trump has alarmed environmentalists with his policies in office. He has called climate change a “Chinese hoax” and appointed climate-change denialist Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has moved to undo a swath of regulations, revoking methane-emission reporting standards, rescinding a rule limiting toxins in drinking water and proposed canceling the Clean Power Plan, which would clean up dirty power plants.
Trump has also moved to reduce the size of national monuments, including Bears Ears and lands in Alaska, to allow oil and gas drilling within them. Earlier this month, the Department of the Interior sent a proposal to the White House that would end protections for 300 endangered species.
Macron is on his second day of a three-day state visit. He and Trump have been discussing the Syrian conflict, U.S. tariffs on the E.U, and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.