President Trump ends Paris trip with Bastille Day celebration
The two presidents shared a lengthy handshake as they said goodbye.
— -- President Donald Trump has changed his tune on Paris. After once implying that Paris was too dangerous to visit, Trump resolved on Thursday that Paris was “one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”
President Trump seemed to continue his enjoyment of Paris today as he and first lady Melania Trump joined French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte at a military parade along the Champs-Elysees to celebrate Bastille Day.
Trump arrived at the parade before Macron made his lavish entrance in an open camouflaged military jeep down the Champs-Elysees, waving at the crowd. The two greeted each other and sat together with the first ladies on the reviewing stand at the parade.
The president and first lady watched American and French troops, including mounted troops march side-by-side into Place de la Concorde. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and F-22 conducted a flyover with planes from the French Air Force to start the parade.
The president was seen laughing during the fly-over and leaning over to chat with Macron and Melania throughout the parade.
“Mr Trump's presence at my side is a sign of an enduring friendship and I want to thank him. Nothing can ever separate us. I want to thank America for the choice made a hundred years ago,” said Macron during a speech at the end of the parade, thanking wounded soldiers for their service.
The closing performance at the parade featured the Bastille Day military band, performing a medley of French music duo Daft Punk’s songs.
During the grand finale performance, the band spelled out "Nice” for the city in France where one year ago today, a truck plowed through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers, leaving at least 84 people dead.
At of the end of the parade and before President Trump departed for New Jersey, the two leaders shared a lengthy, nearly 28-second handshake, followed by a hug.
The president and first lady were joined in the ceremony by nearly 200 American service members, including troops from the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division and three heroic U.S. veterans of the Normandy invasion.
Trump was the first U.S. president to have participated in the ceremonies since 1989.
The Trumps and Macrons visited Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon's tomb and a military museum on Thursday before both leaders conducted a joint press conference on climate change, Syria, Russia and the long-standing Franco-American relationship.
The first lady also visited Hopital Necker-Enfant Malades, a children’s hospital at the beginning of the trip to spend time with young patients.
Both presidents concluded their night with a double date at the Michelin star restaurant, Le Jules Verne, at the Eiffel Tower. The president tweeted praise early Friday morning for the Macrons, thanking them for the dinner and pledging that the U.S.-France alliance was “stronger than ever.”
“It was my high honor to commemorate, on French soil, France’s most historic day and the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States into World War I. Melania and I thank President and Madame Macron for hosting us,” said Trump in a statement Friday.
“On behalf of the American people, we congratulate the people of France and look forward to many more centuries of friendship and cooperation.”
ABC News' Arlette Saenz, Katherine Faulders and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.
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