frances le pen eats icecream at trump tower
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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France's Le Pen eats ice-cream at Trump Tower

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today France's Le Pen eats ice-cream at Trump Tower

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen meets with colleagues in a cafe in Trump Tower in New York,
New York - Arab Today

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Thursday visited the New York headquarters of the incoming US president she openly admires, but his aides said she met neither Donald Trump nor his staff.

The National Front leader was spotted having coffee at Trump Ice Cream Parlor on the lower-level lobby of Trump Tower, a skyscraper on Fifth Avenue, with three men including her partner Louis Aliot, the party’s vice president.

Also sighted with Le Pen was George “Guido” Lombardi, an Italian businessman who lives in Trump Tower and was described in a Politico profile as Trump’s “self-professed contact to Europe’s far-right parties.”

Asked by journalists if she was there to meet Trump, Le Pen refused to respond.

“She is not meeting with anyone from our team,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told reporters.

“No meetings. It’s a public building,” said Trump spokesman Sean Spicer. But several hours later, it was unclear whether Le Pen was still in the building or had left out of public view.

“Private visit. No statement,” Aliot wrote in a message when asked whether Le Pen planned to speak to reporters staked out in the lobby.

Le Pen’s campaign manager, David Rachline, also said in Paris that Le Pen was on a “private” visit and would not be meeting the future US president.

The lobby of Trump Tower is a public area, and although officers imposed stringent security after Trump won the election on November 8, visitors are free to throng its souvenir shops and cafes.

Le Pen was one of the first foreign politicians to congratulate Trump on his surprise victory, which has emboldened far-right politicians across Europe.

Not the first

France elects a new president in May, but while polls show Le Pen qualifying for the second round run-off, most expect her to lose to conservative candidate Francois Fillon.

Le Pen is not the first European Trump admirer to stop by Trump Tower.

Britain’s top Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, has visited twice since the election, congratulating the billionaire in person last November and posing — mouth open in delight — next to a grinning Trump.

Farage campaigned on behalf of Trump, and the Republican rewarded his loyalty by recommending that he serve as British ambassador to the United States, a breach of protocol that irritated the British government.

French support for Le Pen has been fueled by anger with elites and concern over migration following extremist attacks — factors that fueled both Britain’s decision to quit the EU and Trump’s rise in the United States.

Like Trump, Le Pen has been a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin as Moscow has courted the National Front and other populist anti-EU parties. She has also used a Russian bank to finance her party.

Breitbart News, of which Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon was previously executive chair, has spoken admiringly of Le Pen.

She describes herself as “anti-establishment” and wants to take France out of the European Union unless Brussels returns full powers to control immigration and economic policy to member states.

She has worked hard to try to make the National Front more acceptable to mainstream voters, shedding the overtly anti-Semitic and racist image it had under the party’s former leader, her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Her platform remains focused on restricting immigration, fighting fundamentalism and withdrawing France from the European Union.

source : gulfnews

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