France condemned US President Donald Trump on Saturday for comments he made during a National Rifle Association (NRA) event on Friday about the 2015 Parisian terrorist attacks.
The outrage has come just over a week after Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron stressed their friendship during Macron's state visit to the US.
Trump's offending remarks:
Referring to the 2015 attack by Islamist terrorists, Trump told rifle owners:
- "Nobody has guns in Paris and we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded. … They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns."
- "They took their time and gunned them down one by one," he added, before mimicking the shooters while saying: "Boom. Come over here. Boom, come over here. Boom."
- Trump said someone in the Bataclan club, where 90 of the 130 people died, could have ended the killing spree if they had been able to use a gun to shoot back.
'Shameful' and 'obscene'
France's Foreign Ministry said: "France expresses its firm disapproval of the comments by President Trump about the attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris and asks for respect of the memory of the victims."
Former French President Francois Hollande, who was in office at the time of the attacks, wrote on Twitter that Trump's remarks and gestures were "shameful" and "obscene." He added that the comments " said a lot about what he [Trump] thinks of France and its values."
Hollande's prime minister at the time of the attacks, Manuel Valls, wrote on Twitter: "Indecent and incompetent. What more can I say?"
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said Trump's description of the 2015 attacks was "contemptuous and unworthy."
French trauma: Gunmen loyal to the "Islamic State" stormed multiple locations in Paris, including outside the national stadium, cafes, bars, and the Bataclan club, in November 2015. Armed with assault rifles and suicide vests, they killed 130 people and wounded 350.
UK surgeon also unhappy: Trump also commented on the lack of guns in the United Kingdom, comparing a London hospital to a "military war zone hospital" because of the purportedly large number of people needing treatment for knife attacks. The director of London's major trauma system said "to suggest guns are part of the solution [to combat knife crime] is ridiculous."
amp/aw (Reuters, AFP)