Washington - US President
Donald Trump predicted the attack in Paris 'will have a big effect' on
the French presidential election that begins this weekend, without
naming which candidates he believed would benefit.
'Another terrorist attack in Paris,' Trump
said on Twitter on Friday morning. 'The people of France will not take
much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!'
France’s election is the
most open in nearly half a century. Polling shows
Emmanuel Macron, a former economy minister whom rivals have sought to
paint as weak on security issues, leading a crowded field ahead of the
first round of voting on Sunday.
Marine Le Pen, who has made terrorism and immigration key issues in her
Francois Fillon, a conservative former prime minister, are close behind,
as is Communist-backed
Most of the major candidates
canceled campaign events that had been scheduled for Friday after a
police officer was killed and two others injured in a shooting late
on Thursday that the government was treating as a terrorist attack. The
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, its news agency,
After the shooting, Le Pen
reiterated her calls for border controls and a crackdown on radical
Islam - platform issues that have drawn comparisons to Trump’s
campaign. She said in a CNN interview after the US election in
November that Trump’s unexpected win could boost her own chances.
“Donald Trump has made possible what was presented as completely
impossible,” Le Pen
said then. "So it’s a sign of hope for those who cannot bear wild
globalisation. They cannot bear the political life led by the elites."
Macron after Thursday’s attack
said Le Pen’s plans were “nonsense” and he’d improve intelligence with a
centralized anti-terror force. Fillon said he wanted greater
cooperation with Russia and Iran. Melenchon said he wouldn’t cede to
“panic” and would continue with his plans for the day.
Macron spoke to former US President
Barack Obama by phone on Thursday. Obama isn’t making any formal
endorsement ahead of Sunday’s vote, spokesperson Kevin Lewis said in a
But, Lewis said, Obama "appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr.
Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential
election in France, a country that President Obama remains deeply
committed to as a close ally of the United States, and as a leader on
behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world."
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