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President Macron speaks to journalists on June 8. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP via Getty Images

The man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron while he was shaking hands with members of the public Tuesday was sentenced to four months in prison on Thursday, Reuters reports.

The state of play: Damien Tarel, 28, was charged with assault of a public official and given a sentence of 18 months by the court, 14 of which were suspended, per Reuters.

  • During his trial, which had been fast-tracked, Tarel said that he believed Macron represented the "decline" of France but that his actions of Tuesday were impulsive and not premeditated.
  • "When I saw his friendly, lying look, I felt disgust, and I had a violent reaction,” he told the court, per AP. “It was an impulsive reaction."

The big picture: The incident, which was recorded on video, occurred during Macron's visit to the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage, in southern France.

  • In the video, a voice is heard shouting, “Montjoie! Saint Denis!” — a centuries-old royalist war cry — as well as “a bas la Macronie,” or “down with Macron," reports the AP.
  • Macron described the incident as an "isolated" one on Tuesday, adding that "stupidity and violence" have no place in a democracy, per AP.
  • "The incident took place in a tense and increasingly polarised political climate in France, weeks ahead of regional elections and less than a year before presidential polls," according to Agence France-Presse.

Why it matters: The attack has drawn renewed attention to the far-right in France.

  • Tarel is described to have an interest in "far-right and monarchist figures, as well as medieval French history," reports the BBC.
  • He told the court during his trial that he had supported France's anti-government "yellow vest" movement and told investigators that he held "right- or ultra-right political convictions," though he didn't belong to a particular political party, per AP.

Tarel was arrested alongside a second man who got caught up in the incident, identified only as Arthur C., reports AP.

  • This second man will have a trial in 2022 for illegal possession of weapons. When investigators searched his home, they found weapons, a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf," and a communist flag, prosecutors said, per AP.

Go deeper

Biden's European optimism collides with reality

President Biden departs for the United Kingdom. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

As President Biden departed Washington, he told reporters he was going to use his first foreign trip to make "clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight and the G7 is gonna move."

Why it matters: The problem is his statements regarding the allies' shared objectives are not supported by the statements and actions of the allies themselves.

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.