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French official disputes passage about Emmanuel Macron in Kristi Noem’s book

French official disputes passage about Emmanuel Macron in Kristi Noem’s book

France’s government is disputing a portion of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s book that describes a canceled meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The book, which has already had a passage removed over unverified claims of the Republican governor meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, says a planned meet-up between Noem and Macron last year was nixed after he allegedly made “pro-Hamas” comments.

“While in Paris, I was slated to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron,” Noem wrote in her book “No Going Back.” “However, the day before we were to meet he made what I considered a very pro-Hamas and anti-Israel comment to the press. So, I decided to cancel.”

A representative from the Élysée Palace disputed Noem’s account, saying there’s no record of a scheduled meeting, nor was there an invitation extended to her.

When reached for comment Friday, a spokesperson for Noem said that “the Governor was invited to sit in President Macron’s box for the Armistice Day Parade at Arc de Triomphe.”

“Following his anti-Israel comments, she chose to cancel,” Ian Fury, the governor’s chief of communications, said in a statement, while adding that Macron “did not end up attending, either.”

Noem had been in Paris in November 2023 to speak at the Worldwide Freedom Initiative conference.

She did not specify in her book what Macron’s comments were. When asked for details, Noem’s office on Friday pointed to Macron’s remarks urging Israel to stop bombing Gaza and calling for a cease-fire. Macron also condemned Hamas, as well as its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, and recognized “the right of Israel to protect itself and react.”

The disputed account is the latest in a series of controversies generated by Noem’s book.

The second-term governor, who is viewed as a potential running mate for former President Donald Trump, wrote that she met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but later said she “should not have put that anecdote in the book.” Her publisher has said the passage would be removed, but Noem deflected in interviews whether she has actually met with Kim.

She also described in her book how she shot and killed her family’s 14-month-old dog. Noem has repeatedly defended her actions, citing what she said was the dog’s aggression and noting that it was a “working dog” and “not a puppy.”

Trump responded to the backlash against Noem in an interview this week.

“She had a rough couple of days,” he told Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin. “I will say that.”

Alec Hernández

Alec Hernández is a 2024 NBC News campaign embed.

Nancy Ing

Nancy Ing is a Paris-based producer.

Megan Lebowitz

Megan Lebowitz is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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