Saturday , September 23 2017 US

Marine Le Pen praises Donald Trump: ‘I only have reason to rejoice’

The French presidential candidate applauds Trump’s work as president so far as she outlines her foreign policy approach.

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen delivers a speech focused on “France’s international politic in a multipolar world” in Paris, on February 23, 2017. / AFP / BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

February 24, 2017

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has praised U.S. President Donald Trump, saying his actions have been good for France so far.

Le Pen, who is leading in the latest opinion polls ahead of the spring election, applauded Trump’s promotion of “intelligent protectionism” and “economic patriotism”.

The Front National leader also praised his plan to change or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, as well as his “rupture with total free trade imposed on the world”.

She told the Associated Press that she “only has reason to rejoice” in Trump’s actions.

“So far there is no (untoward) international fallout,” she said.

Le Pen made the comments after delivering a speech in Paris on her foreign policy approach, saying France should only serve the national interests.

“Whether for political or diplomatic activities, national interests are our only guide,” she said.

Her proposals include pulling France out of the EU and NATO, scrapping the euro and cracking down on “massive immigration”.

“I want to make it clear that the EU is not Europe. It is a retrogression of the history. The EU makes France lag behind in the world,” she said.

The speech was briefly interrupted by a topless protester, from the radical feminist activist group Femen, who screamed “Marine fictive feminist” before guards removed her.

Unperturbed, Le Pen continued to blast the past actions of the U.S. as “strategic adventurism”.

She blamed actions in Iraq, Syria and Libya for increased migration, destabilization in the Mediterranean and “dangerous games with Islamic militias”.

She added: “We are hoping that with the election of President Donald Trump there will be a major shift, nearly a complete makeover, which would be positive not only for the world but also for the United States.”

Le Pen has also rejected compliments from American white supremacist David Duke, who called her a “strong and intelligent woman” on Twitter and praised her father, National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen as a “great patriot.”

She denied having any ties to the “provocateur”.

“I don’t want his support. He can keep it for himself,” she told the Associated Press.

Polls have consistently put Le Pen among the top two ranked candidates for the first round of voting, and recent polls put her first – but the soundings never see her in the final round.

Le Pen’s current top opponent, Emmanuel Macron, was ensured the support of long-time centrist Francois Bayrou on Wednesday – a move the candidate called a “real turning point”.

Meanwhile, Conservative Francois Fillion has lost momentum following allegations he illegally paid his wife for a “fake job”.

But Le Pen is embroiled in a corruption scandal of her own over the alleged misuse of EU funds to pay parliamentary assistants.

Her lawyer has said Le Pen refused to attend a summons for questioning on Wednesday, and would comply with any summons after the election.

Her chief of staff was placed under investigation on Wednesday.

Le Pen has denied any wrongdoing, claiming she is a victim of “political dirty tricks”.