Hardline former French MP Marion Marechal-Le Pen told American conservatives Thursday that her nation’s far-right movement was “standing side by side” with the supporters and nationalist policies of President Donald Trump.
“Just like you, we want our country back,” the telegenic 28-year-old niece of failed presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said from the main stage of the Conservative Political Action Conference, held each year just outside Washington.
Marechal-Le Pen is believed to be the first member of France’s far-right National Front (FN) to address CPAC, a controversial move for a conference where US Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the crowd just minutes earlier, and where Trump himself is Friday’s headliner.
Marechal-Le Pen, who decided not to run in last May’s French election, urged the crowd not to see her as the “terrifying” figure she said the American press makes her out to be, but as an ideological partner.
“Here at CPAC, we are once again standing side by side in another battle for freedom,” she said, speaking mainly in English.
“I am not offended when I hear President Donald Trump say ‘America first,'” she said to a loud cheer.
“In fact, I want America first for the American people, I want Britain first for the British people, and I want France first for the French people!”
She praised conservatives for putting their ideals at the forefront. “Let us build on what you have achieved here, so that on both sides of the Atlantic, a conservative agenda may prevail.”
Marechal-Le Pen made little mention of dropping out of politics, but did note that she recently launched a school of management and political science in order to “train the leaders of tomorrow.”
“The challenge is immense,” she said.
Marechal-Le Pen has insisted that her project is not partisan, and that the school will not be allied with any political party.
Her hardline stance on immigration, Islam and abortion commands a loyal grassroots following, but her party has recently shut down speculation that the young scion of the Le Pen family was making a political comeback.
Marechal-Le Pen also took aim at the European Union, a popular target for the far right.
The EU has “imposed” its laws and regulations on her country, she said, and politically correct immigration policies were altering France’s character as a millenium-old Catholic nation.
“The result is the development of an Islamic counter society in France,” she contended.
“This is not the France that our grandparents fought for,” she said, in an apparent nod to her grandfather Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the FN.
“Vive la France!” an attendee shouted out.
There’s evidence that climate activism could be swaying public opinion in the US
Climate activists walked out of classrooms and workplaces in more than 150 countries on Friday, Sept. 20 to demand stronger action on climate change. Mass mobilizations like this have become increasingly common in recent years.
I’m a scholar of environmental communication who examines how people become engaged with solving dilemmas such as climate change, and how activism motivates others to take action. A new study I worked on suggests that large rallies, such as this youth-led Climate Strike, could be influencing public opinion.
‘I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA’: See the most memorable signs from the global climate strike
"Why should we go to class if you won't listen to the educated?" one homemade sign asked.
With millions marching to demand bold climate action in more than 150 countries around the world on Friday, a number of sentiments expressed on homemade signs and through other demonstrations captured the world's attention.
An estimated 400,000 people attended strikes across Australia to start off the day of action. The Australian Conservation Foundation shared a video of some of the young people, including one marcher who proclaimed, "You'll die of old age, we'll die of climate change," addressing the world leaders who climate scientists say are not working nearly fast enough to end fossil fuel extraction and the resulting carbon emissions which are causing global warming, rising sea levels, droughts, and other extreme weather events.
Trump felt free to ask for Ukraine election interference after Mueller let him off the hook: Wired reporter Garrett Graff
On CNN's "New Day Weekend," author and commentator Garrett Graff noted that President Donald Trump's attempt to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden came right after former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in 2016 ended — and suggested the two were related.
"You know, Garrett, there may be some people thinking 'Gosh, we just got out of the whole scenario with the Mueller report. Now we have this again,'" said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you get a sense that there are people looking at this saying 'I think I have confidence in the 2020 election?'"