US President Donald Trump on Friday morning predicted that the previous evening’s attack in Paris would have a “big effect” on the first round of the French presidential election this weekend.
“Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this,” Trump tweeted. “Will have a big effect on presidential election!”
One French police officer was killed and two others were injured during a shooting at the Champs-Elysees on Thursday night. The gunman – who was detained and released as recently as February for threatening a police officer – was killed on the scene.
A second suspect has turned himself in to the Belgian police, AFP reports.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through Amaq, a news agency associated with the terrorist group. French President Francois Hollande said shortly after the attack that authorities were convinced it was “terrorist-related.”
Trump had previously addressed the shooting during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday.
“First of all, our condolences from our country to the people of France,” Trump said.
“Again, it’s happening, it seems, I just saw this, I was walking in, so it’s a terrible thing. It’s a very, very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today, but it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant and I’ve been saying it for a long time.”
The French presidential election is seen as a four-way race between independent Emmanuel Macron, Conservative former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, and Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon.
Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, said on Twitter of Trump that “in France, as today’s tweet makes clear, he’s rooting for Le Pen.”
Jake Kanter and Pamela Engel contributed to this report.