PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron denounced “violence” and “stupidity” after he was slapped in the face Tuesday by a man during a visit to a small town in southeastern France.
The incident prompted a wide show of support for the head of state from politicians across the ideological spectrum.
Macron was greeting the public waiting for him behind barriers in the town of Tain-l’Hermitage after he visited a high school.
Two videos show a man slapping Macron in the face and his bodyguards pushing the assaulter away as the French leader is quickly rushed from the scene.
“I’m always going to meet people,” Macron told reporters on Tuesday evening, as he was greeting a crowd in the nearby city of Valence, accompanied this time by his wife, Brigitte Macron.
“Some people express anger, sometimes disarray ... that’s legitimate anger, and we will continue to respond. Stupidity and violence, no, not in democracy,” he said.
A few hours earlier, Macron had taken another 25-minute walk in the narrow streets of the city, posing for selfies with a small crowd and chatting with many people in a laid-back atmosphere.