French President François Hollande has joined a growing list of world leaders who have slammed U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump as the election looms closer.
Trump’s “excesses” are sickening, Hollande said Tuesday in Paris, noting the Republican nominee “makes you want to retch.”
In this instance, Hollande was referring to Trump’s recent remarks about Khizr Khan, the father of a slain U.S. soldier. Trump lashed out at Khan after he delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention alongside his wife about losing their son during the Iraq War.
Khan, who is Muslim, also decried Trump’s repeated calls to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., noting he has “sacrificed nothing” for the country he is campaigning to lead.
When Trump was questioned about the dispute on ABC News, his response focused on how Khan’s wife, Ghazala, remained silent during the DNC speech, as if she “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Trump also claimed that he had made “a lot of sacrifices,” such as creating jobs and building structures with “tremendous success.”
Even HBO comedian John Oliver, who hosts the popular weekly show “Last Week Tonight,” appeared to lose his temper while addressing Trump’s insensitive response to the Khan family.
“OK, for a start, [Khizr Khan’s] wife has explained that she chose not to speak because she gets too upset when she sees images of her dead son’s face, you fucking asshole,” Oliver barked.
“Honestly,” he continued, “we may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic narcissist that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities, and I genuinely did not think that that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at.”
Hollande denounced Trump’s remarks as “hurtful and humiliating” and warned of the global implications a Trump presidency would have.
“If the Americans choose Trump, that will have consequences, because an American election is a world election,” he said.
The embattled French president is expected to run for re-election in 2017. He has fielded sharp criticism on France’s national security following two horrific terrorism attacks in July.
Less than two weeks after a truck driver plowed through a crowd of innocents celebrating Bastille Day in the streets of Nice, two teenagers slit the throat of an elderly French priest at a church in Normandy. Both incidents were claimed by the so-called Islamic State, sparking nationwide fear and panic.
Hastily politicizing the tragedy in Nice ― much like he did after the deadly attacks in Paris in January of last year ― Trump cast the blame on his democratic rivals in the U.S., and emphasized the threat that “Islamic terrorism” poses to the world. His ongoing anti-Islamic rhetoric has been widely condemned as fearmongering, both in America and abroad.
Soon after the gruesome murder of Father Jacques Hamel in Normandy, Trump asserted that France had lost its identity: “France is no longer France,” he claimed.
“France will always be France,” an angry Hollande retaliated. “It never gives up, because it still bears ideals, values, principles that are recognized worldwide, and it’s when you lower your standards that you are no longer what you are. That’s something that may happen to others, on the other side of the Atlantic.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also spoke out sharply against Trump’s influence, suggesting “Trumpization” in the form of “sweeping accusations” and “slander” had started to seep into French politics. It is “undermining our constitution, our principles, our values and the rule of law,” he warned.
Valls’ comments came in the wake of an influential Trump endorsement by Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right Front National party.
“Between [Donald Trump] and Hillary Clinton, it is clear that I would choose Donald Trump,” said Le Pen, who has also garnered attention for her Islamophobic remarks. Le Pen’s niece Marion, the vice-president of the Front National, and father Jean-Marie, the former party leader, have also endorsed Trump.
Domestically, Trump’s row with the Khan family triggered a damning reaction from U.S. President Barack Obama, who called the Republican nominee “unfit to serve” as president.
“Why are you still endorsing him?” Obama asked Republican politicians. “What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer?”
Several Republican leaders, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) have since denounced Trump’s comments.
Despite the outrage from foreign leaders and domestic politicians, including many within his own party, Trump has yet to apologize to the Khans.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist