On Tuesday, while on a walkabout in southern France, French President Emmanuel Macron was smacked in the face by a guy among a crowd of onlookers, a video of the incident showed.
Macron’s security detail soon intervened, dragging the man to the ground and removing Macron from the situation. According to broadcasters BFM TV and RMC radio, two people have been arrested in connection with the event.
The incident, according to French Prime Minister Jean Castex, was an affront to democracy.
The event occurred as Macron was in southeastern France’s Drome region, where he met restaurateurs and students to discuss how life is returning to normal following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Macron, clothed in shirt sleeves, can be seen going towards a mob of well-wishers behind a metal fence in a video circulating on social media.
The French president extended his hand to meet a gentleman dressed in a green T-shirt and wearing spectacles and a face mask.
The man could be heard saying “Down with Macronia” (“A Bas La Macronie”) before slapping Macron in the face.
Two members of Macron’s security detail confronted the man in the green T-shirt, while another escorted Macron away.
Macron, though, lingered within a few seconds of the crowd and appeared to be speaking with someone on the opposite side of the barriers.
The presidential administration confirmed that an attempt was made to assassinate Macron, but declined to elaborate.
The identity of the individual who smacked Macron was unknown, as were his motivations.
While slapping the president, he was heard chanting “Montjoie Saint Denis,” the battle cry of the French troops during the country’s monarchical period.