Donald Trump Says Paris Attack Will Influence French Presidential Election
File image of US President Donald Trump. (Photo: Reuters)
Washington: President Donald Trump is taking the unusual step of weighing in publicly on a foreign presidential election, predicting that the latest attack in Paris will have a "big effect" on voters there.
His tweet Friday comes as he tries to bolster US support for hard-line proposals on immigration and foreign policy. Trump's administration is demanding that Congress fund a bigger US border wall with Mexico and is suggesting that his administration could scrap the US nuclear deal with Iran.
"Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!" he tweeted.
The outcome of France's presidential election is being closely watched for signs that Europe is moving toward nationalist candidates who advocate the European Union's dissolution. The top two candidates from Sunday's vote in Paris will progress to a winner-takes-all May 7 runoff.
Trump was a supporter of the British decision to exit the European Union and has stated his preference for one-on-one trade and defense agreements with US allies.
On Thursday, Trump met with Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni. At a joint news conference, he said Iran was failing to fulfill the "spirit" of its nuclear deal with world powers and that the 2015 deal shouldn't have been signed.
He pointedly stopped sort of telegraphing whether or not the US would stay in.
He also said the US is committed to a strong Europe, but didn't say directly whether he prefers that the European Union stay intact.
Trump's wrangling on foreign policy issues abroad comes amid debate in the US over his priorities at home. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said money for Trump's border wall must be part of the legislation, along with funds to hire more immigration agents.
His statement ran counter to his statement earlier this week that "no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days."
Since taking office, Trump has managed to get a Supreme Court justice confirmed and is pursuing tougher regulations on immigration. But his health care bill didn't come up for a vote in the House and his travel ban was blocked in the courts.
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