PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande on Thursday fired back at comments by U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that “France was no longer France” after a slew of militant attacks, saying France would always stay true to its values.
France is reeling from two strikes in under two weeks by attackers who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State, the first when a Tunisian plowed his truck through a crowd in Nice, the second when two men slit the throat of a priest.
“France is no longer France. They won’t like me for saying that,” Trump told reporters in Miami on Wednesday. “And this world better be very careful and the better get very tough and they’ll never do it with (Democratic nominee) Hillary Clinton.”
Trump’s campaign has been marked by insults and inflammatory rhetoric. He has called for tougher surveillance of mosques and warned that radical Muslims were “trying to take over our children.” Trump has rejected the criticism that his rhetoric is racist.
Brushing off Trump’s words, Hollande on Thursday told reporters France would always remain true to its values and ideals.
“When you stoop low you’re not true to yourself anymore, that’s something that can happen to others on the other side of the Atlantic,” Hollande said, without directly mentioning Trump.
Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; writing by Richard Lough Editing by Jeremy Gaunt