Leading French candidate: Europe needs new military alliance

Conservative French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon, worried about the direction of the new U.S. government, wants a new European military alliance to protect the continent and fight Islamic extremism.

Fillon outlined the plan in an interview with Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ahead of a meeting Monday in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Fillon accused the U.S. of aggravating the Islamic extremist threat, and said that President Donald Trump has an "aggressive discourse" that should push Europe to "organize itself" instead.

Fillon did not explain how the new alliance would work with NATO, which Trump has called obsolete.

Fillon, a former prime minister and leading contender for France's April-May election, also calls for warmer relations with Russia.