Donald Trump on Saturday suggested that Parisians are rioting in the streets because they would rather have him as president than French President Emmanuel Macron, The Express is reporting. Trump also said that protesters are chanting “We want Trump.” They are not.
For a few days now, the ancient French city has been the scene of riots. Rioters, dressed in reflective yellow vests worn by professional drivers, have vandalized, looted, and clashed with police, all in protest of higher fuel taxes and other measures that they say have disproportionately burdened the working poor.
In a tweet Saturday morning, Trump said the riots are about him.
“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting “We Want Trump!” Love France.”
The Paris agreement, for those not familiar, is a piece of legislation from 2015, adopted later by several European Union countries and other countries around the world, aimed at cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, and otherwise addressing climate change, beginning in 2020. Donald Trump, who has repeatedly claimed that climate change is a hoax, famously withdrew the United States from the agreement early in his term.
— Andrew Steinwold (@AndrewSteinwold) December 4, 2018
What, if anything, the current Paris riots have to do with the Paris Agreement is not clear. While the principal reason for the riots, as covered by the media, appears to be a planned increase fuel tax — which itself could be traced to larger French efforts to address climate change — there are indeed larger issues motivating the riots besides just the fuel tax. And those reasons have nothing to do with climate change.
As BBC News reported last week, the Yellow Vest Movement, the organization behind the Paris riots, also resents what it sees as unfair tax burdens on the working poor. They want more taxes on the wealthy, an increase in the minimum wage, as well as the resignation of Macron.
“They feel like the political elite is forgetting about them.”
Donald Trump’s claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that the protesters are chanting “We want Trump.” CNN reported earlier this week that reporters on the ground in Paris have heard no such thing. Similarly, French news agency Agence-France Presse also debunked any such claims.
Meanwhile, BBC News reported earlier Saturday morning that French police have detained “hundreds” of rioters, as the Paris riots continue.