France’s Zemmour Boasts of Trump Call in Run-up to Presidential Election

French far-right party Reconquete! presidential candidate Eric Zemmour talks to journalists during an event with the 100.000th party member at his campaign headquarters in Paris, on February 14, 2022. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images

French Presidential candidate Éric Zemmour has announced that he had a “warm” conversation with former U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday evening, where they discussed political strategy alongside a variety of topics.

Éric Zemmour who is representing the political party Reconquête (reconquest) in the French Presidential elections has boasted to the press of having a “long” conversation with Donald Trump.

Zemmour, 63, claimed that Trump, 75, told him that if he wishes to win the election then he should “never change” his political viewpoints or “give in” to the media and other pressures, as well as ensure he be himself and not put on a political act, BMTV reports.

Trump also apparently warned Zemmour that the media was going to turn on him as they had done to Trump throughout his Presidency – Zemmour is already referred to as “far-right” in a range of press outlets.

As a long-standing supporter of Trump, Zemmour reportedly modelled his own outsider campaign on Trump’s 2016 Presidential bid, even creating similar policies such as calling for Europe to build a wall at “all the external borders” of the European Union.

The controversial Presidential candidate additionally claims in a statement released on his social media that during his phone call with Trump, they discussed a range of topics including “migration, security and economic issues” in both France and the United States, as well as Trump’s 2016 victory strategy.

Zemmour asserted that “Donald Trump wants the United States to remain the United States” and “Éric Zemmour wants France to remain France”, a likely reference to the strong viewpoints both individuals hold in regards to immigration.

The French Presidential candidate’s statement also claims that Trump praised Zemmour’s campaign and said it was characterised by, “authenticity, sincerity and courage”, however, Trump has not officially endorsed any candidate for the French Presidency.

A spokesperson for former President Trump confirmed that the meeting took place, but has declined to share any details of the conversation.

Rival right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen has attempted to play down the significance of Trump’s call to Zemour suggesting that while she hoped Trump “is doing well”, she believes he “no longer represents an active political force”.

“I had wanted to meet him before he was president, it was more interesting than meeting him afterwards, to be honest”, Le Pen also said.

Le Pen has previously tried to meet with the billionaire turned U.S. President and even flew out to Trump Towers in 2017 in a reported effort to meet him, but was ultimately unsuccessful in securing a meeting.

The electoral competition between Le Pen and Zemmour has recently become heated as Zemmour has become an increased threat to the Resemblant National leader – with several of Le Pen’s allies defecting to Zemmour, including on Sunday, Senator Stephane Ravier, who was Le Pen’s only Senator.

In the latest French Presidential poll taken by Europe Elects on the 10th of February 2022, it forecasts that incumbent President Emmanuel Macron is still the popular candidate to win with 24.4% of the vote, Le Pen is ranked just 7.5% behind at 16.9%, and Zemmour comes in at 14.6%.

France’s President is directly elected by the French people, but if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, the French people are asked to vote again, but only between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round. This means that candidates such as Le Pen and Zemmour whose support bases are found across France but not strongly localised anywhere have a better chance of being elected than if they were to stand in other more regional French elections.

The first round of the 2022 French presidential election is scheduled to be held on the 10th of April 2022, but if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote then the next stage will take place on the 24th of April 2022.


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