Photos have emerged of French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in the lobby of Trump Tower.
Le Pen’s people are being tight lipped about whether she will meet with Trump or members of his team, but I find it hard to believe that she’s there for the ambience alone.
Marine Le Pen in Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/YC3PU7eVcb
— Sam Levine (@srl) January 12, 2017
If she meets Donald Trump, this would represent an even bigger middle finger from Trump to the French establishment than Trump’s friendship with Nigel Farage has been to the British establishment. If they indeed meet, it means that Trump is keenly aware of who his friends are and are not, both at home and abroad.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 12, 2017
“A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump said she did not meet with him or his team.
“No meetings with anyone,” transition spokesman Sean Spicer said. “It’s a public building.”
Le Pen was seen entering an elevator at the building, according to a Reuters witness, but she did not speak to reporters gathered there.
George Lombardi, a Trump friend who lives in Trump Tower, told reporters that he had coffee there Thursday with Le Pen, who he said he has known for 20 years. He said Le Pen did not request a meeting with Trump.
A day earlier, Lombardi said, they attended a party with people they believe might raise money for her campaign, including business people and diplomats.
“This is a perfectly privately encounter that she had with some friends of ours,” Lombardi said. “Some people had been asking to meet her a long time ago, and she just happened to be here because I happen to live here.”
Le Pen, who is currently projected to lose a runoff with conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon in next May’s election, has struggled to raise money for her campaign both in France and abroad.
She has also sought to burnish her credentials with foreign appearances. Her staff in April announced that she would go to Britain to campaign for that country’s exit from the European Union but she ended up not going after being shunned by the Brexit campaign.
Le Pen was seen at Trump Tower with Lombardi, Louis Aliot, her partner and vice president of National Front, and Ludovic De Danne, her international affairs adviser.
Her staff confirmed her visit to New York, characterizing it as a private trip.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.