French President Offers Refugee Status to U.S. Liberals

Macron invites Americans upset over Trump exit from climate pact to find a 'second homeland'

by Margaret Menge | Updated 06 Jun 2017 at 6:06 AM

French President Emmanuel Macron is offering refuge to American liberals upset at President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

In a video posted to Twitter, speaking in English, Macron said:

“I wish to tell the United States: France believes in you. The world believes in you. I know that you are a great nation. I know your history, our common history.”

“If you’re wondering how to get into France, you can either be a Syrian [jihadi] or an American climate scientist.”

“To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call them: Come and work here, with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. I can assure you, France will not give up the fight.”

Macron also posted a picture to Twitter, with the words “Make Our Planet Great Again” on a green and blue background.

Macron is a 39-year-old liberal who worked in mergers and acquisitions for the Rothschild investment bank in Paris and as the economy minister to French Socialist Party President François Hollande before rebranding himself as an “outsider” last year and launching a campaign for president.

He defeated populist National Front leader Marine Le Pen in May to become the youngest-ever president of France.

It may be because of his youth that Macron is not aware that the specter of a young Frenchman calling out the president of the United States, speaking English with a French accent, may invite more ridicule from Americans than gratitude.

"If you're wondering how to get into France, you can either be a Syrian [jihadi] or an American climate scientist," newspaper columnist and talk radio guest host Mark Steyn said on "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on Friday afternoon, before noting that France would likely require more paperwork from the American climate scientist than from the jihadi.

And as for President Trump himself, The Washington Post reported Friday that Trump's irritation with Macron's disrespecting him at their first meeting may have, in fact, helped seal his decision on withdrawal from the Paris accord.

It occurred in Brussels, Belgium, on May 26, when the new French president approached the line of world leaders, with Trump in the middle, but veered off to his right. He ignored Trump to shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel's hand first, and then the hand of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenburg. Only then did he finally face Trump, who clasped Macron's hand tightly and pulled the slender Macron toward him forcefully while shaking his hand vigorously, breaking out into a huge smile — not at Macron, but toward the cameras that he saw were pointed toward him.

At an earlier private meeting between Macron and Trump, the two had shaken hands, with both gripping tightly and grimacing for the cameras, in what some media organizations interpreted as an alpha male showdown.

In what was likely the best, or probably the most memorable, line from the president's energetic address from the Rose Garden on Thursday, in which he laid out a strong case for exiting the Paris agreement, he said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

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