Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s nationalist, eurosceptic party, National Front, revealed this week that if she could vote in the U.S. presidential elections, she would choose the presumptive GOP nominee.
“[Clinton] epitomizes every harmful thing the United States has built and exported into the world, in terms of economic models and international relations,” Le Pen added.
She applauded Trump’s “fantastic showmanship” and said that he “appeals to Americans because he is a free man, not beholden to Wall Street, markets or financial lobbies, or even his own party.”
Le Pen is currently among France’s rising political leaders — opinion polls show that the National Front is likely to shine in the 2017 presidential elections, according to Reuters news agency.
Support for Trump has been building within Le Pen’s National Front party over the past year. Her public backing for the real estate mogul comes after her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who originally led the party, expressed his support for Trump in February.
“If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump,” he wrote on Twitter Saturday in French. “But may God protect him!”
Whatever the European Union might say, it is essential that France recover the control of its national borders, once and for all.
Political analysts have previously compared Trump and Le Pen over their extreme views on migration, Christian values, climate change and patriotism. A New Yorker headline in December 2015 declared that “Donald Trump is now America’s Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen voiced her rejection of the comparison to Trump, however. “I am not American,” she told the news channel BFMTV. “Me, I’m not [former French President] Nicolas Sarkozy, OK? I am not American. I am French. I defend in France all the French, whatever their origin, whatever their religion.”
The French nationalist has called for putting an end to the reception of migrants in France and for tightening border controls.
“Whatever the European Union might say, it is essential that France recover the control of its national borders, once and for all,” the populist said following November’s terror attacks in Paris. “Without borders, neither security nor protection are possible.”
In a YouGov survey carried out in March for HuffPost France, 32 percent of French respondents said they believed Le Pen to be the political figure who most resembled the American billionaire, far ahead of political rivals Sarkozy (10 percent) and Bernard Tapie (9 percent).
A version of this piece was originally published on HuffPost France. It has been translated into English and adapted for a U.S. audience.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump