WASHINGTON/May 7, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — President Donald Trump is offering praise and congratulations to centrist Emmanuel Macron, who was elected as France’s youngest president ever.
Trump described Macron’s victory over far-right opponent Marine Le Pen in the French presidential runoff as a “big win.” In a tweet Sunday, Trump says he’s looking forward to working with Macron, but did not immediately extend an invitation for him to visit the White House.
Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him.”
A White House statement cited the 39-year-old Macron and the French people for “their successful presidential election” and said the United States looks forward to “continuing our close relationship with the French government.”
Trump had not expressed support for either candidate in France’s election although he predicted last month that an attack on police officers in Paris could help Le Pen because she is “the strongest on borders.” French voters on Sunday ultimately rejected her populist wave of “French-first” nationalism by a large margin, in which Le Pen had threatened to leave the European Union.
Macron, by contrast, embraced globalization, winning an unusually high-profile endorsement last week from former President Barack Obama. An aide to Obama said Sunday he was not expected to comment on the day of the results.
“I have admired the campaign that Emmanuel Macron has run,” Obama said in a video endorsing Macron. “He has stood up for liberal values; he put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world; and he is committed to a better future for the French people. He appeals to people’s hopes, and not their fears.”