French President Macron backs anti-racism movement in US

August 17, 2017
FILE- In this Thursday, July 6, 2017 file photo, France's President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, walk toward the Elysee Palace courtyard, to welcome autistic people, prior to the launching of a program to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of autism, in Paris. The French president’s wife says Emmanuel Macron’s only fault is “being younger than me,” addressing their unusual love story in a rare interview released Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool, File)

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is offering his support to anti-racism protesters in what he described a collective, historic battle against intolerance.

Macron, in his first public comments about the weekend’s deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia, tweeted Thursday: “at the sides of those who fight racism and xenophobia. Our joint combat, yesterday as today. #Charlottesville.”

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, runner-up to Macron in this year’s tense presidential election, has not commented on the violence in Charlottesville. She has worked to shed her National Front party’s past racist reputation but it maintains links with some extremist figures.

National Front official Florian Philippot sought to distance his anti-immigrant party from the U.S. marchers. Speaking on Francetvinfo, he said “we should condemn these racist supremacists” and called the event an internal U.S. affair.