In a new interview U.S. President Donald Trump has said that while he does not formally endorse anti-mass migration French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, she is the “strongest” on borders and security, ahead of Sunday’s first round of voting in France.
The U.S. President said that he believed the terror attack that killed one police officer and injured two others on Thursday would likely help Ms. Le Pen, who has promised to restore order in France during her campaign. Speaking to the Associated Press Friday Mr Trump said Le Pen was, “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
Trump tweeted in reaction to the Paris shooting: “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”
Many interpreted the tweet as an implicit endorsement of the Front National leader, though Trump has had no personal contact with Le Pen or has sought to formally endorse her.
The closest the two have come to meeting occurred earlier this year when Le Pen made an impromptu appearance at Trump tower in New York City before the presidential inauguration in January. Ms. Le Pen claimed that she was meeting associates in New York who had chosen the venue and had no plans or intentions of meeting with the President.
Many have compared Ms. Le Pen and her campaign to that of President Trump with U.S. broadcaster CNN saying that the parallels between the French election and the U.S. presidential election last year were “scary.”
According to CNN, the polling currently shows the Front National chief closely behind front runner Emmanuel Macron, who recently promoted his telephone conversation with former U.S. President Barack Obama — another U.S. President involving himself in the French election without an official endorsement.
Much like Trump, Marine Le Pen has vowed to combat radical Islamic terrorism and has said she will have a much tougher border policy, getting France out of the open-borders Schengen agreement. Le Pen has also said she would look to hold a referendum on French membership of the European Union and advocates an exit or “Frexit” from the bloc.
Ms. Le Pen has also praised Trump and in a speech in February said that his election and Brexit were, “in tune with the great planetary movement which consists of the awakening of the peoples [and] the return of national frontiers and national pride.”
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org