Le Pen in NY for Unannounced Visit During French Race

French National Front party leader Marine Le Pen was spotted at Trump Tower less than four months before France's presidential election, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

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. A week after Trump's victory, Le Pen said she, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin "would be good for world peace". While Marine Le Pen's chief of staff David Rachline is saying an encounter is not on Le Pen's "public agenda".

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

A recent poll shows Le Pen has gained significant ground on her closest rival for the French presidency, Francois Fillon.

Le Pen has sought to burnish her credentials with foreign appearances. She has openly supported Trump's policies for the USA calling him "a sign of hope" for European anti-establishment politicians in a press conference this month. "We don't communicate about private visits".

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Trump spokesman Sean Spicer says, however, that LePen is not meeting with Trump "or anyone else from the transition team", in CNN's words. Neither is she on Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon's schedule, a person familiar said. She's just using her "private visit" to NY to have coffee in the charming, slightly damp environs of the Trump Tower basement, they told Bloomberg.

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

She took over leadership of the National Front in 2011 from her father and party co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.

This combination is likely to be good for reform prospects in France, for re-establishing positive momentum in the European Union, and potentially for leading to a more amicable outcome in Brexit negotiations.

  • Adam Floyd