Hollande Says Trump Excesses in U.S. Elections Make Him Sick

  • French President made comments over drinks with journalists
  • Trump has said ‘France is no longer France’ and slammed Merkel

Francois Hollande.

Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

French President Francois Hollande expressed extreme revulsion at Donald Trump’s “excesses” in the U.S. presidential campaign and warned against the authoritarian tone adopted by the Republican nominee and billionaire reality-television celebrity.

“In the U.S., one of the world’s great democracies, maybe the greatest democracy, where democracy was born, before the French one, we see some excesses that are sickening,” Hollande said in Paris during the annual meeting with the presidential press.

Particularly, Hollande added, when Trump “speaks ill of a soldier, of the memory of a soldier,” an allusion to his feud with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq in 2004.

Hollande and Trump have already swapped barbs, most recently when the real-estate mogul said in the aftermath of a string of terror attacks on France that he would not visit the country because “France is no longer France.” Hollande responded his country would stay true to its values.

In his comments to French journalists, Hollande this time did not hold back his disdain and dismay at the prospect of a Trump White House: “If the American people choose Trump it will have consequences worldwide because the U.S. is a global economy,” he told a hotel conference room of 66 reporters over drinks.

Merkel’s Silence

Trump has made digs at other European leaders, while praising Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He called Angela Merkel’s refugee policy “insane” and accused the German Chancellor of ruining Europe’s dominant economy. She has maintained a dignified silence. When asked at a news conference if she had nightmares about him becoming president, she said: “I can answer that question with a clear, ‘No.’"

French presidential elections are next year and it’s unclear if Hollande, the most unpopular leader in modern French history, will run again. The country has been overwhelmed by a fatal series of terrorist plots amid a rising chorus calling upon the government to disregard legal checks on its power in the pursuit of potential attackers. Hollande and his government have pledged to stick to the rule of law.

“The U.S. campaign provides themes that will then come into the French campaign,” Hollande said, adding that what was once “unthinkable,” a Trump administration, has now entered the realm of “foreseeable.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.