During a visit to southern France on Tuesday, an observer reached out and slapped French President Emmanuel Macron, and the event was recorded on film.
Macron was greeting onlookers behind a security barrier during an appearance in Tain-l’Hermitage when he was hit.
Macron was shaking hands with the crowd when the man, wearing a green T-shirt and mask, grabbed his right arm and slapped him on the left side of his face.
As Macron’s security detail escorted him away, they pulled the man to the ground. Following that, Macron proceeded to mingle with bystanders.
“A man indeed tried to hit the President of the Republic,” Elysee Palace told CNN. “Exchanges with the crowd and handshakes resumed. The trip continues.”
Interior ministry officials said two men were arrested over the incident.
“Democracy is debate, dialogue, expressing legitimate disagreements but it cannot in any way be violence, verbal aggression or physical aggression,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said, according to Politico.
French politician Marine Le Pen, a frequent critic of Macron, “firmly condemned” the altercation and called it “an intolerable physical aggression against the president of the republic,” according to Politico.