The leader of France’s National Front party, Marine Le Pen, has been seen in Trump Tower in New York, sparking a near meltdown on social media.
This is the picture of the far-right politician taken by Huffington Post US reporter, Sam Levine, who is the press pool reporter today covering the Trump Tower beat on behalf of a larger group of media.
At this stage, it’s unclear whether Le Pen will be meeting the President-elect, or is just hanging out in his building:
An aide to Le Pen said a meeting with Trump “is not on her public agenda,” but added: “We don’t communicate about private visits.”
Le Pen was accompanied to Trump Tower by her partner, George “Guido” Lombardi, a longtime friend of Trump’s who lives in the building and was active in the “Citizens for Trump” campaign last year.
Lombardi is also the leader of a group called the North Atlantic League, which espouses anti-Islamic views, and warns that “Judeo-Christian civilization” is under attack from Islam, the media and a “cultural assault.”
But many on Twitter have already drawn their own conclusions:
The parade of visitors to Trump’s flagship Manhattan building since the election has included Kanye West and the ex-Democrat Vice President, Al Gore. The only British politician to have met the President-elect since his victory is ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage.
Le Pen, the daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, is a deeply polarizing figure in France, where she is frequently accused of racism and xenophobia for her nationalist, anti-immigrant policy positions.
She regularly claims to be “fighting the Islamisation of French society”. In a 2010 speech, she likened the presence of Muslims in France to the Nazi occupation.
Le Pen described Brexit as the most important event since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Trump’s victory as “an additional stone in the building of a new world”.
The French elections this year are being watched closely as potentially the next tremor in the populist political earthquake, with polls suggesting support for Le Pen’s party climbing from 18% in 2010 to about 24% today.