British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told France on Wednesday to "prenez un grip" (get a grip) and "donnez-moi un break" over a submarine deal row that saw Australia tear up a French contract for a trilateral nuclear-powered submarine deal between Australia, the US and the UK.
Johnson's comments came as French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to speak to his US counterpart, Joe Biden, by telephone in a bid to calm tensions following Australia's scrapping of a $66 billion (€56bn) French-designed submarine deal.
France is outraged that its ally Australia negotiated with fellow NATO members, the US and UK, in secret without informing Paris until a few hours before the announcement.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C. a day after he met Biden, Johnson dismissed France's ire: "I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to 'prenez un grip' about all this, 'donnez-moi un break', because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security."
He was translating the English phrases "get a grip" and "give me a break" literally into French.
"It is not trying to shoulder anybody out, it is not adversarial towards China, for instance, it is there to intensify links and friendship between three countries," he said.
Paris last week recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia, but it has snubbed Britain.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Britain was a "third wheel" in the deal that was guilty of "constant opportunism".
'Going back on a commitment' not a problem for Johnson
The comments came as former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd slammed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's handling of the submarine issue in an interview with FRANCE 24.
"We should have notified the French properly, we should have then recommissioned a tender for a new replacement nuclear-powered submarine project and, thirdly, there are only three countries that can build these things – France, UK & US – it should have been a competitive tender for them," said Rudd.
Johnson's quips are likely to further fuel Paris's anger, according to diplomatic sources. "'Global Britain', it seems, is aimed at projecting Britain around the world, while marginalising Europe. We can't accept that," a French diplomatic source told Reuters, referring to a slogan used by Johnson to describe the UK's ambitions following Brexit.
Britain's role in pushing the new partnership appears to have been larger than initially thought, officials have said, with the deal taking shape during a summit of G7 leaders in Cornwall in June that Macron also attended.
"It's true that going back on a commitment made and the word he gave is something that Boris Johnson finds hard to see why that would be a problem," Nathalie Loiseau, former French Europe minister and European lawmaker, said on Twitter.
"This is the whole problem, however, when one claims to want an international order based on rules and relationships based on trust."
France on Monday cancelled a meeting set for this week between its Defence Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart Ben Wallace.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Emmys producer fires back at Seth Rogan over his COVID rant: Our efforts to make this a 'safe space' feel 'wasted'
Speaking to an audience full of celebrities on Emmys night, actor Seth Rogan went off script for a moment and commented on the fact that the event was being held in a "hermetically-sealed" tent in the midst of a global pandemic.
"Let me start by saying there are way too many of us in this little room! What are we doing? They said this was outdoors! It's not! They lied to us! We're in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof?" Rogan said, whose comments immediately went viral.
Now, producers behind the show are hitting back. Speaking to Variety, producer Ian Stewart said that the Emmys crew worked for "months and months" to make the event a COVID "safe space."
"We've worked with all the health authorities. We were signed off by LA County, we came up with a plan with them. Those tables were distanced. Everyone was vaccinated," Stewart said. "Everyone was negative tested in that audience. And also he had rehearsed. So he knew exactly what it was. So, I just felt it was an unfortunate misdirect from him. Because it wasn't just our decision. This is the health authorities' decision as well, to say that it's a completely safe environment if you do all those things."
Stewart went on to say that the "many discussions to get [health protocols] right feel a little bit wasted" thanks to Rogan's rant.
"We work in this industry, we're desperately aware of COVID. I've done 50 productions nearly in COVID and not have people get sick. So, it's deeply frustrating," Stewart said.
Mary Trump spoke to John Aravosis and Cliff Schecter promoting her latest book about the collective trauma Americans have faced over the years of the Trump administration.
In the early part of the conversation, Trump explains some information about the upbringing of former president Donald Trump's children and how her uncle carried one some of the mistakes Fred Trump made with him.
Fred Trump's eldest and namesake, Freddy Trump, was supposed to take over the business and build it bigger and better. But he was so disenchanted with what he had to deal with that he left and decided to do what he loved, flying. That was what ultimately turned Donald into the new Trump heir.
Like his father, Donald also sidestepped his namesake and elevated Ivanka to be the more important part of the business. This was, in part, because Don Jr. is the least intelligent of the Trump children, Mary Trump explained.
"Just in terms of the situation into which he was born, he shares that with my dad," she explained. "You know, the oldest son of 'powerful person' — well, I think Donald is the weakest person on the planet but he's been propped up so much. So, clearly, though he certainly did not deserve it, he had a lot of influence, had a lot of money, which was my grandfather's money, so I think Donnie was born with the same expectation that my father was born with, which was, you're the oldest son. You carry the name ... and you must follow in the footsteps and surpass what your father has accomplished, and you have to do it exactly according to his preferences."
She explained that for her father, Freddy Jr., it was really difficult for him to live up to the expectations that his father had for him.
"Donnie is weak in a different way," she continued. "He had no intention of striking out on his own. He had no intention of doing anything but sucking up and toeing the line, and the problem is — one of the problem is — and who knows how this happens — but kind of the same problem that happened to him happened to my dad. My grandfather, for whatever reason, didn't like my father and saw something in his sibling Donald, and the only thing that's weird is that Donald did the same thing but with Ivanka."
She explained that their grandfather would never have considered any of his daughters as a successor for his business.
"But Donald had this thing for Ivanka really early on and Donnie was left in the dust," she said, "and yet, he still tries, doesn't he? I think he's like many people in my family. He has no core. He has no ideology."
She explained that Donnie will out-misogynist anyone, out-racist anyone and shoot as many animals as possible just to get "whatever passes for affection in my family." So he does a lot of what his father does, she said, loving people because they love him. The reason, she said, is because neither of them really know or understand what love is.
"He'll behave to get whatever love keeps coming in," Dr. Trump continued. "For Donnie it's more of a way to get his father's attention, which he never will. And Donnie is a deeply unintelligent person. I've been asked this -- who's the stupidest one and it's him."
Schecter recalled being at Penn at the same time as Don Jr. and recalled Trump slapping Jr. across the face in front of the whole hall. There were stories about Donald Jr. fighting back against Trump when it was discovered he was cheating on his mother Ivana. But Mary Trump said that she believes it was more transactional and that Donnie ultimately just fell in line.
Mary Trump went on to reveal that her uncle was always kissing on Ivanka and she was always sitting on his lap while he doted over her.
See the fascinating conversation below:
Mary Trump on Donald, Democrats, and America's future www.youtube.com
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