U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to comment on the ongoing riots in Paris, placing the blame for the protests on the Paris Agreement from which the U.S. withdrew last year.
“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third-world countries (that are questionably run), in order to protect the environment. Chanting ‘We want Trump!’ Love France,” the president’s tweet read.
Over 89,000 police were deployed across France on Saturday, 8,000 of them centred in Paris. Riot police fired tear gas into raging crowds of yellow-vested protesters in central Paris, and blue armoured vehicles lined the Arc de Triomphe.
The “yellow-vest” protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes.
Some reporters on the ground in Paris have refuted Trump’s claim that the protesters are chanting his name.
While the demonstrations have carried on for a third week in a row, there was less violence this week than last week. Even so, police fired tear gas and used water cannons and horses to charge at protesters.
Protesters have also blocked roads, roundabouts and tollbooths elsewhere in France. Officials have pleaded with the demonstrators to stand down.
“I ask the yellow vests that want to bring about a peaceful message to not go with the violent people. We know that the violent people are only strong because they hide themselves within the yellow vests, which hampers the security forces,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Saturday.
Four people have been killed in accidents since the protests began on Nov. 7.
The protests have also begun to spread beyond France into other countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.