Trump says French First Lady in 'such good shape'

VIDEO: REUTERS
French President Emmanuel Macron (second from right) and his wife Brigitte (right) with US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania after the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees, in Paris, yesterday.
French President Emmanuel Macron (second from right) and his wife Brigitte (right) with US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania after the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees, in Paris, yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • United States President Donald Trump praised French First Lady Brigitte Macron for being in "such good shape" during his state visit to France, according to a video on the French government's Facebook page.

Mr Trump, 71, who has come under fire for his comments about women's appearances, and his wife Melania, 47, met French President Emmanuel Macron, 39, and his wife, 64, at Hotel des Invalides, where Napoleon Bonaparte and other French war heroes are buried.

After a tour, Mr Trump turned to the French First Lady, gestured towards her and said: "You're in such good shape." After repeating the comment to the French President, Mr Trump turned back to Mrs Macron and said: "Beautiful."

Her response was unclear.

Social media immediately reacted to the video with many users denouncing Mr Trump's comments as sexist.

"#Trump telling France's First Lady 'you're in such good shape' epitomises men toeing the line between compliment & sexual harassment," wrote Twitter user Alex Berg, a freelance video producer and writer who works on feminist and gender issues.

Ms Jen Siebel Newsom, a documentary-maker and actress, said on Twitter: "Mr Trump - Women do not want to hear unsolicited remarks on what you think of their bodies. It's gross, and deeply inappropriate."

The White House declined to comment on the exchange.

Mr Trump has been denounced for comments deemed sexist, including criticising the looks of former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell.

His presidential campaign was rocked in October last year by the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which he talked about grabbing women by the crotch.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'Trump says French First Lady in 'such good shape''. Print Edition | Subscribe