Trump hijacks ‘Yellow vest’ protest to praise himself for ditching Paris climate deal

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President Donald Trump has used clashes over fuel tax hikes gripping France to hail his move to quit the Paris climate accord, saying he was “glad” that French President Emmanuel Macron and the ‘yellow vests’ agreed it was doomed.

The US president has yet again referred to the massive French protests over a planned rise in fuel tax to promote his own policies.

“I am glad that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago. The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters in the world,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

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France introduces 6-month moratorium on fuel tax increases

Taking a swipe at Macron’s short-sightedness, Trump lauded his own political wisdom.

“But American taxpayers – and American workers – shouldn’t pay to clean up other countries’ pollution.”

While tweeting about an “agreement” reached between protesters and the French government, Trump apparently meant the 6-month suspension of the fuel tax hikes announced by French Prime Minister on Monday in the light of the escalated violence on the streets.

An 80-year-old woman and three other people have been killed as the protests turned violent, with activists wearing symbolic yellow vests pelting police with stones and getting tear-gassed in return.

There is a second-hand relation between the French fuel tax, which should have been introduced in January, and the Paris Climate Accord. The tax is regarded as one of several steps to cutting carbon emissions 40 percent by the year 2030 compared to 1990, one of the goals outlined by the 2015 agreement.

France is one of the few states that has not backed down on the ambitious pledge, according to a 2017 study.

Trump’s shot at Macron amid violence and chaos in French streets did not sit well with commentators on Twitter, who accused the US commander-in-chief of lacking empathy and hijacking the discussion.

Many took offence for Macron, whom Trump called his “friend” despite the two locking horns on almost every issue, ranging from EU trade policies and NATO spending to Macron’s idea of creating a “European army” to protect France from China, Russia and the US.

“Neither he, nor Parisian protesters agree with you on anything,” a user quipped.

It is not the first time Trump addresses French protests to propel his own cause.

On Sunday, the US President baffled many of his followers by tweeting that “large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States have been treated on trade or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection.”

The response online was that of bewilderment and outrage, with Trump’s critics labelling him “narcissistic” and an “amoral monster.”

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