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Thursday 25 May 2017

George Clooney and Paris mayor give Trump an Eiffel for City of Light insult

George Clooney and his wife Amal on the red carpet of the Cesar Film Awards in Paris (AP)
George Clooney and his wife Amal on the red carpet of the Cesar Film Awards in Paris (AP)
George Clooney and his wife Amal on the red carpet of the Cesar Film Awards in Paris (AP)

Hollywood star George Clooney has joined Paris' mayor and France's foreign minister in attacking US president Donald Trump for insulting the City of Light.

In a speech to US conservative activists on Friday, Mr Trump said "Paris is no longer Paris" because of the terror threat and pointed out that a friend of his no longer travelled there.

On the red carpet with wife Amal in the city to receive an honorary Cesar - France's equivalent of the Oscars - Clooney quipped: "Yes, no one wants to go to Paris any more because it's horrible here, apparently.

"We have some things to work on in the United States."

And in a veiled allusion to France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, Clooney added: "I think you guys have some of the same issues here so ... good luck."

Receiving his award, he said "citizens of the world" must work "harder and harder not to let hate win".

"The actions of this president have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies and given considerable comfort to our enemies," he said.

The fault "is not really his" because fear was already present.

"He merely exploited it, and rather successfully," he said.

The critique was delivered with some humour, with French 2012 best actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin providing a purposely wacky translation, and adding his own dig: "Donald Trump is a danger for the world."

In his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Mr Trump evoked his friend Jim, "a very, very substantial guy".

Jim used to be a regular visitor to Paris, Mr Trump said, but had not made the trip in four or five years because "Paris is no longer Paris".

"Take a look at what's happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris," the president said, in an apparent reference to last year's Bastille Day attack in Nice and the 2015 Paris attacks.

He said Jim used to visit Paris each summer, "i t was automatic ... He wouldn't miss it for anything".

"Now he doesn't even think in terms of going there. Take a look at what's happening to our world, folks, and we have to be smart. We have to be smart.

"We can't let it happen to us."

In response, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted a photo of herself alongside Mickey Mouse and Minnie and said: "To @readDonaldTrump and his friend Jim, in @LaTour Effel we celebrate the dynamism and spirit of openness of Paris with Mickey and Minnie."

In another tweet, with the hashtag #Donald&Jim, Ms Hidalgo said American tourist reservations were up 30% in 2017 so far, compared to last year.

Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault offered his own proof that Americans like not just Paris but all of France, tweeting: "3.5 million Americans visited France in 2016. They will always be welcome."

AP

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