President Donald Trump waded into a foreign election on Friday when he tweeted that the shooting on the Champs-Elysees in Paris could turn the tide in the French Election.
In the wake of the shooting on Paris' most famous street, Parisians seem resolved to move past this attack in preparation of the first round of voting this Sunday. But far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, of the National Front party, has been accused of exploiting the shooting to stoke xenophobia. French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Friday that Le Pen was "shamelessly exploiting fear and emotion for purely political ends," AFP reported.
By tweeting Friday that "the people of France will not take much more of this," Trump joined Le Pen in the ill-founded fear-mongering. Le Pen and Trump have been said to represent the emerging anti-globalist movement that has taken Europe and the United States. Le Pen was seen at Trump Tower during the presidential transition, but both parties refused to confirm whether or not that they had met.
Both candidates have been favored by Russia.
Trump's decision to comment on the French election came one day after former President Barack Obama spoke with Le Pen's rival, center-left candidate Emmanuel Macron, on the phone.
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said "an endorsement was not the purpose of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement."
"President Obama appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr. Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a country that President Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally of the United States, and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world," Lewis said.
Just two days before the election, no one seems to no for sure how Thursday's shooting will have an impact on Sunday's election, but everyone agrees that the stakes are high.