The French government officially condemned remarks made by President Trump to the National Rifle Association convention on Friday in which he suggested the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks could have been stopped or mitigated by “one employee or just one patron” with a gun.
“They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns,” Trump told the NRA crowd, referring to the 130 killed and hundreds injured in a coordinated attack by Islamic extremists.
“They took their time and gunned them down one by one,” Trump said as he pointed his fingers in the shape of a gun. “But if one employee or just one patron had a gun or if one person in this room had been there with a gun aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot.”
But France begged to differ.
“France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump’s comments in relation to the attack of the 13 November 2015 in Paris and we demand that the memory of the victims be respected. Each country can freely decide its own legislation on gun control. France is proud to be a country where the purchase and possession of fire arms are strictly regulated,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a Saturday statement, according to the UK Independent.
Former French President François Hollande also took issue with President Trump’s “shameful” comments.
“The shameful comments and obscene antics of Donald Trump say a lot about what he thinks about France and her values,” Hollande said in a statement, as reported by France24. “The friendship between our peoples will not be stained by this disrespect and outrageousness. All my thoughts are for the victims of the November 13 attacks.”
Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Indecent and incompetent. What more is there to say?”
“Indignation and disgust after the statements made by Donald Trump about the November 13 attacks. Solidarity with the victims… the French are shocked. This transgression, it’s disrespect,” tweeted former French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, who was in his post when the attacks took place, according to France24.