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.”
?? FLASH | En déplacement dans la #Drôme ce mardi dans le cadre de son tour de #France des territoires, Emmanuel #Macron s’est fait violemment gifler, deux personnes ont été interpellées.— Conflits France (@ConflitsFrance) June 8, 2021
(BFM) #MacronGiflé pic.twitter.com/3pjWQt0NAR
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. (RELATED: Protester Hauls Off And Slaps French President Emmanuel Macron)