French President Emmanuel Macron received an unpleasant welcome during a tour of a village in the department of Drome, southeastern France on Tuesday when an unidentified man slapped him in the face as he approached local residents to shake hands.
The incident was caught on camera as a bearded man wearing glasses and a face mask slapping the president hard on his left cheek. Macron’s security detail immediately rushed in to detain the man, with local gendarmerie also stepping in to assist.
Elysee Palace later confirmed to local media that the incident took place and indicated that two people were arrested in connection with the altercation.
It’s not immediately clear what specific grievances prompted the man to attack Macron, with the individual shouting “Down with Macronie!” shortly before slapping the president.
Le Pen echoed the prime minister’s sentiments, tweeting that acts of violence against the president are “unacceptable.”
“Although democratic debate can be bitter, it can by no means tolerate physical violence. I strongly condemn the unacceptable physical aggression targeting the President of the Republic,” Le Pen wrote.