As French President Emmanuel Macron prepared to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, President Trump took to Twitter to praise Macron for “a great honor,” which Trump said is “seldom allowed to be done.”
It’s unclear what Trump’s definition of “seldom” is, but such addresses are hardly a rarity. In fact, Congress has heard from 14 foreign leaders and other dignitaries over the past decade, most recently from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016.
The year before that, four addresses were delivered, by Pope Francis and the leaders of Japan, Afghanistan and Israel.
In a news release last month advertising Marcon’s speech, the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the address “continues a storied tradition that dates back to 1824, and Marquis de Lafayette, the French general whose service to our cause during the Revolutionary War made him a hero across our new nation.”
Ryan’s office noted that Macron will be the eighth president of France to address Congress and that “the practice of foreign leaders addressing formal joint meetings became standard practice after 1945.”
Trump, who has repeatedly touted his friendship with Macron over the first two days of the French leader’s visit to Washington, said in his tweet that he is looking forward to watching the address. “He will be GREAT!” Trump said of Macron.
Trump also used Twitter on Wednesday to praise his wife for her work preparing for the State Dinner at the White House the night before.
“@FLOTUS did a spectacular job hosting the President of France @EmmanuelMacron and his wife Brigitte,” Trump wrote. “Every detail was done to perfection. The State Dining Room never looked more beautiful, and Washington is abuzz over what an incredible job Melania did.”