President Donald Trump called France’s Emmanuel Macron to offer the United States condolences on the Notre Dame fire and U.S. assistance in restoring the iconic cathedral.
The U.S. president invoked the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack for the third time in a week as he pledged to support the French after a blaze damaged the exterior of the historic church.
‘France is the oldest ally of the United States, and we remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame’s bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil. Those bells will sound again,’ the White House said in a Tuesday afternoon statement.
The readout made no reference to Trump’s suggestion while the structure burned that the French use ‘flying water tankers’ to douse the flames.
View of the debris inside the Notre-Dame-de Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral on Tuesday, a day after the fire
President Donald Trump called Emmanuel Macron to offer the United States condolences on the Notre Dame fire and U.S. assistance in restoring the iconic cathedral
Trump made the recommendation from aboard Air Force One en route to Minnesota on Monday, while viewers around the world watched iconic cathedral go up in flames.
WHITE HOUSE ON NOTRE DAME FIRE
This morning, President Donald J. Trump, on behalf of the American people, offered his condolences to President Emmanuel Macron of France for the devastation caused by the fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The United States stands with French citizens, the city of Paris, and the millions of visitors from around the world who have sought solace in that iconic structure. The Cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece. Notre Dame will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy. France is the oldest ally of the United States, and we remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame’s bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil. Those bells will sound again. We stand with France today and offer our assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization. Vive la France!
‘So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!’ Trump wrote while en route to Minnesota for an event about taxes.
Later, at his Tax Day event, Trump told a crowd about the ‘terrible, terrible fire.’
‘The fire that they’re having at the Notre Dame Cathedral is something like few people have witnessed,’ the president said. ‘When we left the plane, it was burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn. It’s one of the great treasures of the world.’
Trump said that the building ‘might be greater almost than any museum in the world and it’s burning very badly.’ He noted that he himself had been to see it before.
‘Looks like It’s burning to the ground,’ the president added, as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze.
Trump said he had a ‘communication’ with France but did not specify if he spoke to French authorities.
‘That puts a damper on what we’re about to say to be honest,’ Trump told his audience in Minnesota. ‘Because that is beyond countries. That’s beyond anything. That’s a part of our growing up, it’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of our lives. That’s a truly great cathedral. And I’ve been there and I’ve seen it … There’s probably no cathedral in the world like it.’
The president said the French believed the fire was related to the ongoing renovation of the 850-year-old cathedral.
‘They think it was caused by renovation. And I hope that’s the reason,’ Trump continued. ‘Renovation. What’s that all about?’ Trump said. Then he called it a ‘terrible sight to behold.’
President Donald Trump tweeted about the fire at Notre Dame Monday
The president suggested the use of airborne tankers
The French government tweeted out its reason in English for not using water tankers from the air
At the end of his roundtable event, where he hailed tax cuts, gains against ISIS and other matters, Trump returned to Notre Dame.
‘We all want to extend our regards and our hopes and our “God Bless you” to Paris and to France, what they’re going through,’ Trump said.
‘This is one of the true catastrophes,’ he said. ‘Hopefully they did better than they were doing when I left the plane but it was not a good situation with respect to Notre Dame Cathedral.’
Hours after Trump’s tweet, the French government explained that air drops could have caused the cathedral’s walls to implode, bringing the structure down and ruining the artwork inside.
France’s ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud told CNN, ‘It’s not possible to use water tankers which could only worsen he situation of the building.’ He mentioned the difficulty of containing the fire with intense heat and tons of wood acting as fuel. ‘So I think we have only to pray now,’ he said.
The French civil security division posted a tweet that appeared to rebut Trump – posting a single English-language missive on its French-language account.
‘Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral,’ the tweet said.
First lady Melania Trump, who did work in Paris during her modeling career, also tweeted about the fire.
‘My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety,’ Melania Trump wrote.
PARIS, FRANCE – APRIL 15: Flames and smoke rising from the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France on April 15, 2019
A fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris, potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site, the fire service said.Images posted on social media showed flames and huge clouds of smoke billowing above the roof of the gothic cathedral, the most visited historic monument in Europe
The president suggested: ‘Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out.’ Above an air tanker drops water on a fire along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley, Calif., Monday, Nov. 12, 2018
Donald Trump’s daughter, traveling in Africa, said the fire was ‘devastating’ in a tweet sharing he condolences.
‘Watching flames engulf the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A devastating and shocking sight. Praying for the safety of all,’ Ivanka Trump wrote.
The president has the capability to monitor televised reports while in flight, and was apparently seeing televised coverage showed billowing smoke and flames engulfing the roof of the building.
A scant few early signs of an effective firefighting response could be seen, and viewers around the world worried the cathedral would burn down.
One helicopter was seen circling the area as Parisian firefighters made their way to the scene.
Firefighters eventually were able to assemble fire boats on the river. The cathedral is located on the corner of Ile de la Cite, on a spit of land that juts out into the river Seine.
The interior of the building came out relatively unscathed, and the fire brigade said the ‘main works of art’ had been saved, including the Crown of Thorns that Jesus is believed to have worn and the Rose windows.
Notre Dame’s facade and it’s bell tower also survived the fire. The cathedral’s twitter account called it a miracle, inspiring even the admitted non-believers to proclaim Hallelujah.
‘My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety,’ Melania Trump wrote Monday
Ivanka Trump tweeted about the event from Ethiopia
According to French newspaper Le Monde, the fire broke out in the attic of the monument before spreading across the roof.
The cathedral is one the finest example of French Gothic architecture in Europe, and one of the most visited buildings in the world.
Notre Dame – which means ‘Our Lady’ – was build in 1160 and completed by 1260, and has been modified on a number of occasions throughout the century.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Monday: ‘Notre Dame is an iconic symbol of faith to people all over the world – and it is heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames. Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters on the scene and all the people of Paris.’