French National Front leader and presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen was spotted at Trump Tower Thursday during an unannounced visit to New York City.
Le Pen had morning coffee with three men in the basement of Trump Tower. She declined to comment on whether or not she was meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. Her chief of staff, David Rachline, called it a “private visit” and denied that any meeting with the Trump team was “on her public agenda.”
“It’s not on her public agenda,” Rachline said in a text message exchange, according to Bloomberg. “We don’t communicate about private visits.”
An aide to Trump said no meeting was scheduled, Politico reports.
For EU watchers: Far-right French Pres candidate Marine Le Pen spotted at Trump Tower, wouldn’t say if she’s meeting w/ Trump, per pool pic.twitter.com/w38aZJHDGA
— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) January 12, 2017
Le Pen openly backed Trump during his presidential campaign.
“Donald Trump has made possible what was presented as completely impossible,” Le Pen told CNN in an interview following the election. “So it’s a sign of hope for those who cannot bear wild globalization. They cannot bear the political life led by the elites.”
Le Pen will launch her presidential campaign Feb. 4 in the city of Lyon. She is currently among the top two candidates in most polls, but she is expected to lose in a run-off election.
National Front is one of Europe’s most established populist parties with an agenda focused on immigration reforms and France leaving the European Union.
The party received millions of dollars in loans from Russian banks, which has led to speculation that the Kremlin is helping Europe’s populists.
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