US President Donald Trump made headlines this weekend over some controversial comments he made in a speech to the National Rifle Association on Friday, May 4 in Dallas.
Trump mentioned the 2015 terrorist attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris, where 130 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded. The attack was one of the largest examples of individual gun violence in French history, as well as being the first in a series of tragic acts of violence and terrorism in France. He claimed that if those attacked at Bataclan had had guns, the attack could have been stopped.
French politicians and citizens alike are outraged by this statement, and by the way President Trump mimicked the shooting during the speech.
Les propos honteux et les simagrées obscènes de Donald Trump en disent long sur ce qu’il pense de la France et de ses valeurs. L’amitié entre nos deux peuples ne sera pas entachée par l’irrespect et l’outrance. Toutes mes pensées vont aux victimes du 13 novembre.
— François Hollande (@fhollande) May 5, 2018
Former French president François Hollande called the comment, “shameful,” and former French prime minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Indecent and incompetent. What more can I say?”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed his “firm disapproval” of Trump’s remarks. Gun violence statistics, he said, “do not lead us to reconsider France’s choice on this issue.”
The foreign office of the French government released a statement on the speech: “France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump’s comments about the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, 2015 and demands that the memory of the victims be respected.”