French fire chief slams Trump's 'utterly useless' advice on Notre Dame


'Everything would have collapsed' if French firefighters had followed Trump's absurd suggestion of using water-bombing aircraft to fight the fire at Notre Dame.

A leading French fire chief says that if first responders had followed Trump’s "risible" unsolicited advice on how to fight the fire at Notre Dame, it would have created a major disaster at the historic site.

"Everything would have collapsed," Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Bernier explained to Agence-France Presse on Tuesday, if fire crews had used aerial water bombers on the cathedral as Trump suggested. "It was technically impossible, undoable and most of all would have been utterly useless," Bernier added.

Bernier is a spokesman for Sécurité Civile, the French civil defense agency.

Sécurité Civile was forced to use its Twitter account to quickly shut down Trump's suggestion after he made it. As Notre Dame was burning before the world's horrified eyes on Monday, Trump tweeted: "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

“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 agency wrote in response.

Bernier elaborated on just how stupid Trump’s idea was, noting that dropping the amount of water typically used to fight forest fires from a Canadair water bomber would have been "the equivalent of dropping three tonnes of concrete at 250 kilometers per hour (155mph)."

"It would have been like bowling with the cathedral," he added, and "the two towers might have fallen" as a result.

Trump's suggested course of action would have also endangered other buildings in the neighborhood, Bernier said: "Neighboring buildings would have been hit by flying blocks of hot stone, and the whole area would have had to be evacuated."

Bernier also pointed out that Trump's uninformed recommendation would have endangered the lives of more than 500 firefighters who were on the scene doing real work while Trump was safely tweeting from the White House.

Trump's harmful comments about Notre Dame on Monday didn't stop with his ignorant tweet. He also made a bizarre comment about the fire that hinted at false conspiracy theories surrounding the event.

Authorities believe that the fire was an accident related to ongoing renovations at Notre Dame. Trump, however, decided to muse: "Renovation, you know, what’s that all about?"

Trump is of course an infamous conspiracy theorist who for years pushed the false, racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Perhaps aware that Trump had once again humiliated America by shooting off at the mouth, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tried to clean up after him — the day after the fire — with a press release about Notre Dame that pretended Trump had never made his bizarre suggestion.

Trump is a ridiculous international figure. Americans know it. Citizens across the globe know it. And this week, firefighters in France were forced to call it out when they had much more important things to do.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.