On Thursday, Marine Le Pen, French National Front (NF) leader, was spotted at the Trump Tower, causing rumors to swirl of a possible meeting with Mr. Trump, which a plausible supposition owing to ideological similarities between the two parties.
However, Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the existence of any scheduled meetings with the French politician. He added that the Trump bar, where Le Pen was seen having coffee, is a public space and thus accessible to everyone.
Marine Le Pen, nevertheless, met with Trump’s longtime friend and neighbor, George Lombardi – a man with many connections with the European far-right elite, who introduces himself as a political analyst. He formerly represented the Italian Northern League, is now close to the Tea Party and leads the U.S. branch of the French National Front. Mr. Lombardi also lives three stories below Trump.
Not only Trump’s neighbor, Lombardi is also his auto-proclaimed, non-official advisor and fervent supporter; an interesting middle-man and asset for Le Pen, who seems to admire and envy the success of the populist vote in the U.S.
Trump’s victory seems to be a sign of hope for European anti-establishment, as Le Pen tweeted in celebration for Trump in November, indicating the NF’s confidence of the elections’ outcome.
Lombardi announced he will organize a private party for Mrs. Le Pen with “entrepreneurs, businessmen, and a couple of people from the United Nations.” All are French and supporters of Le Pen’s convictions.
Lombardi described Le Pen’s populist message as similar to Trump’s by its “resonance with the working class, left or right, fed up with the elitist, globalist politicians that are not doing anything for their own people.” He then added: “they are looking for someone, a new voice.”
After some networking in New York, Mrs. Le Pen will fly back to Lyon, France, where she will officially launch her presidential campaign, on February 4th. According to the latest opinion polls, she remains the favorite candidate.
Article by Alice Ferré, CAS’19