Trump and Macron’s Disappearing Tree is Just in Quarantine to be Monitored For Pests.
Last week, French president Emmanuel Macron came to the US for his first official post-election visit to the White House, where—during a break from holding hands—he and Trump planted a small, unhappy-looking tree on the South Lawn. The oak, taken from a French WWI site where 2,000 US soldiers lost their lives, was Macron’s gift to Trump—what he called “a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us.” But by the end of the week, the living monument to their bromance had mysteriously disappeared.
100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us. pic.twitter.com/AUdVncaKRN
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018
The tree vanished almost without a trace: The spot where it once proudly stood was replaced by a patch of pale, dead-looking grass, the Associated Press reports.
The White House didn’t explain what happened to the tree, and with an innumerable number of possible explanations out there—maybe someone stole it, or it died, or Trump chopped it down in a fit of blind fury.
But by Monday, the mystery had been solved. Macron’s office told the AP that there wasn’t actually anything shady going on with the sapling; instead, it had been put in quarantine, which is apparently a requirement for any living organism brought to America. It would make sense to inspect the tree, you know, before it was planted, but according to the AP, Trump “insisted” on hosting the tree-planting photoshoot right away, federally mandated safety protocols be damned.
According to Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the US, the White House will soon replant the tree, once it’s inspected for arboreal diseases and parasites or whatever. It’s a reasonable explanation, though perhaps an all-too convenient one—given Trump’s penchant for Twitter, you have to wonder if getting flamed online had anything to do with the oak’s untimely disappearance.