Francois Hollande has expressed disdain at Donald Trump's "excesses" during the current US presidential campaign, adding to the global pummelling aimed at the Republican nominee. Just hours earlier on Tuesday (2 August), Barack Obama denounced Trump, saying he "is unfit to serve as president."
"His excesses make you want to retch, even in the United States, especially when – as was Donald Trump's case – he speaks ill of a soldier, of the memory of a soldier," the French president said in Paris. Hollande was referring to Trump's public spat with Khizir and Ghazala Khan whose son, Capt Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Hollande criticised Trump's "hurtful and humiliating comments" aimed at the Gold Star family, saying a "certain number of excesses have ended up making people feel nauseous". Trump has received resounding criticism over his barbs aimed at the Khans, with the families of 17 fallen US soldiers calling his comments "repugnant and personally offensive" and "frankly anti-American."
Aside from the businessman's treatment of the family of the Muslim-American soldier, the French president expressed alarm at the potential global ramifications of a Trump victory in November (2016). France is scheduled to hold it's own presidential elections next year and polls indicate that far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen will make it to the final round.
"Democracy is also at stake, as we see more and more people tempted by authoritarianism, especially in the United States," Hollande said. "Should the American people choose Trump, there will be consequences, because a US election is a global election."
"It could lead to a very strong turn to the right in the world," added Hollande. "The American campaign shows issues that will be reflected in the French campaign."
Earlier on Tuesday (2 August), Obama denounced Trump and openly questioned Republicans for continuing to stand by their nominee. "This is daily and weekly where they are distancing themselves from statements he's making," the US president said at a White House press conference with the prime minister of Singapore. "There has to be a point at which you say, 'This is not somebody I can support for president of the United States, even if he purports to be a member of my party.'"
Trump shot back at Obama in an interview afterwards, saying: "He's a terrible president. He'll probably go down as the worst president in the history of our country. He's been a total disaster."