Damien Tarel, 28, was sentenced to four months in prison and barred from ever holding public office by a Valence court after assaulting Macron Tuesday while he was on an official tour, the AP reported. During the trial, Tarel testified that the attack was unplanned and was brought on by anger at France’s “decline.”
He defended his actions and calmly told the court, “I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country,” the AP reported. “When I saw his friendly, lying look, I felt disgust, and I had a violent reaction. It was an impulsive reaction… I was surprised myself by the violence.”
— Conflits France (@ConflitsFrance) June 8, 2021
Tarel described himself as a member of the yellow vest movement, according to the AP. The movement has been critical of Macron in the past.
“We must not make that stupid and violent act more important than it is,” but “we must not make it banal, because anyone with public authority is entitled to respect,” Macron told BFM TV in response to Tuesday’s altercation. However, he declined to comment on the trial itself.