PARIS (AP) — Former French President Francois Hollande has two words for U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that gun-toting Parisians could have thwarted Islamic State attackers at Paris’ Bataclan concert hall: “indecent and despicable.”
French anger erupted this weekend at Trump’s comments to the National Rifle Association — and especially at his trigger-firing hand gesture imitating the Bataclan attackers. Multiple extremists with explosive belts and assault weapons killed 130 people in the 2015 attacks on the Bataclan, Paris cafes and the national stadium.
Hollande, president during the attacks, called Trump’s gesture “obscene.” Speaking to BFM television Sunday, Hollande called Trump’s comments “intolerable” for the survivors and victims’ families.
France’s government vigorously defended its gun controls and pressure mounted on President Emmanuel Macron to demand an apology from Trump despite their friendly relationship.