LONDON — Far-right French politician Marine Le Pen is in New York on an unannounced visit less than four months before the French elections, Bloomberg reports.
It looks unlikely, however, that the Front National leader will get the same treatment as former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who met President-elect Donald Trump soon after the US election. A Trump aide told Bloomberg that he does not plan to meet her.
Le Pen, who is narrowly leading the opinion polls for the first round of the French presidential elections, was one of the first European politicians to congratulate Trump on his victory and said that she would seek Trump-style repatriation of car plants if elected. She added that Trump was “putting in place measures I have been demanding for years.“
Her visit to the US less than a month before she is set to launch her official presidential campaign was not publicly announced and her chief of staff called it a “private visit,” according to Bloomberg.
So far, Le Pen has not had a great start to the year. She revealed last week that her party was scrambling to raise enough cash for the election and was slapped with yet another fraud investigation — this time by the French government.
Le Pen has borrowed money from Russia as her party had trouble finding European banks that would give them a loan. When asked whether she would turn to Russia again for financial support, Le Pen said: “I’m looking everywhere, including in the United States, including in Britain, absolutely everywhere.”
Ever since Le Pen took over from her father as the head of the Front National, she has been working to sanitise the image of the party and bring it into the mainstream. The latest voting intention polls in France now show her narrowly leading the first round of the presidential race.
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