President Donald Trump retweeted a post Tuesday making several inaccurate claims about the ongoing protests that have rocked Paris and other parts of France.
The original tweet was written by Charlie Kirk, founder and president of the right-wing nonprofit Turning Point USA. In his post, Kirk claimed, “There are riots in socialist France because of radical leftist fuel taxes.” He added that “Europe is burning” and that the demonstrations are a middle-class rebellion against “cultural Marxism.”
“‘We want Trump’ being chanted through the streets of Paris,” he concluded.
Lies being re-tweeted by the President: Europe is obviously not burning, and “we want Trump” is not being chanted through the streets of Paris. Also, the fuel taxes are not radical leftist and France is not socialist. Any other lies? pic.twitter.com/fOZSvAPMYW
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) December 4, 2018
Although protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against fuel taxes—which were promoted as a way of combating climate change—as well as other price hikes, the criticism of President Emmanuel Macron is actually the opposite of what Kirk and other right-wing commentators have claimed. Opposition political leaders have actually called for increased taxes on the wealthy, while demonstrators have taken to the streets against rising costs, as they’ve seen some of their social support curbed by the government.
Kirk’s claim that people are chanting “We want Trump” appears to be based on a trending video of demonstrators appearing to mock the U.S. president. The video circulating on social media does not appear to have been filmed in Paris or even in France but in London, possibly during anti-Trump demonstrations earlier this year. Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also claimed that French demonstrators were chanting “We want Trump.”
France, on their way to becoming a 3rd world country chants. WE WANT TRUMP🤣 pic.twitter.com/koLOqLEEMb
— jack white (@HorseRacingCOO) December 3, 2018
However, French residents told Newsweekthat the suggestions were laughable, as there were signs lining roads calling Macron a “capitalist pig.” Demonstrators are also calling for higher taxes on the rich and to redistribute wealth in the country, they said.
France 24’s White House correspondent Philip Crowther slammed Trump for retweeting the false claims made by Kirk. “Lies being retweeted by the President: Europe is obviously not burning, and ‘We want Trump’ is not being chanted through the streets of Paris,” he wrote. “Also, the fuel taxes are not radical leftist and France is not socialist. Any other lies?”