President Trump congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his landslide victory over Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist favored by Trump, in Sunday’s French presidential election.
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France,” Trump tweeted. “I look very much forward to working with him!”
The White House released a slightly longer congratulatory statement:
We congratulate President-elect Macron and the people of France on their successful presidential election. We look forward to working with the new President and continuing our close cooperation with the French government.
Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker who started his own centrist party a year ago, will now become France’s youngest leader since Napoleon.
His victory brought relief to those who feared Le Pen — whose anti-immigration, “France-first” policies mirrored Trump’s — would ride the wave of populism that led to both the Brexit vote and Trump’s election.
Last week, former President Barack Obama formally endorsed Macron in a video message while referencing what was at stake.
“The French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about,” Obama said. “Because the success of France matters to the entire world.”
Before last month’s first round of voting, Trump said Le Pen was “the strongest” candidate on immigration and terrorism but denied that he was delivering an official endorsement.
Le Pen, Trump said, was “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France,” language he has used to describe terrorist attacks in Paris.
“Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders will do well in the election,” Trump said.
Trump also predicted that that a deadly shooting in April on the famed Champs-Élysées in Paris would “probably help” Le Pen’s prospects.
Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!
That does not appear to have been the case. Projections issued just after the polls closed showed Macron with 65 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 35 percent.
Other world leaders also offered their congratulations to Macron.
“Your victory is a victory for a strong and united Europe and for French-German friendship,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman tweeted.
In a statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May “warmly” congratulated Macron “on his election success.”
“France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities,” May added.
“Happy that the French chose a European future,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on Twitter. [/restrict]