In February of this year, President Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and told a story about his friend, Jim. Jim — whom the president also referenced repeatedly on the campaign trail — is apparently a “very, very substantial guy” who used to make frequent trips to Paris. However, Jim no longer visits the city because “Paris is no longer Paris” thanks to France’s leaders’ complacency when it comes to terrorism.
Trump traveled to France earlier this week to meet with the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss Syria and counter-terrorism efforts. During a joint press conference held on Thursday, Trump was confronted by a French reporter about his “substantial” friend.
‘You’ve mentioned a friend, Jim, who told you that Paris is no longer Paris. You were implying at the time that Paris was not safe anymore.
‘You’ve also said that France and Germany are infected by terrorism and “it’s their fault because they let people enter their territory.” Those are very strong words. Would you repeat them today? And do you still believe that France is not able to fight terrorism on its own territory?’
Trump responded by calling the reporter’s question “a beauty.” He continued:
‘You know what? It’s going to be just fine, because you have a great president. You have somebody that’s going to run this country right. And I would be willing to bet cause I think this is one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and you have a great leader now, you have a great president. You have a tough president.
‘He’s not going to be easy on people that are breaking the laws and people that show this tremendous violence. So I really have a feeling that you’re going to have a very peaceful and beautiful Paris. And I’m coming back.’
After backtracking on his original attacks, Trump turned to Macron and said:
‘You better do a good job please, otherwise you’re going to make me look very bad.’
Macron then told Trump that he is “always welcome” in France.
Watch the exchange in the video below, available via YouTube:
Featured Image via Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images.