Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), a GOP presidential hopeful, is expected to meet next month with French politician Marine Le Pen, whose party has been connected to anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant violence in her country.
In a statement released to Agence France-Presse, which first reported the meeting, Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills said, “Madame Le Pen has requested a meeting and Congressman Paul has agreed to a meeting, if he is in town, and as of today it looks like he will be.”
Mills did not return a request for comment from Roll Call.
Le Pen is running for president in France as a candidate of the National Front party, and Mills told AFP that Paul is “open to meeting with any of the other candidates.”
Le Pen took control of the National Front in January. The party has repeatedly been accused of racism, in part for harsh anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric from some of its members. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, founded the party.
Critics have accused the National Front of attempting to incite violence against immigrant populations as France’s Muslim, North African population has exploded in recent years.
Le Pen announced a tour of the United States last month with the express purpose of meeting with tea party leaders and others in the U.S. conservative movement.
“There will be Republicans, I hope there will be Democrats, because I want to meet with everyone,” Le Pen said in her announcement, according to AFP.
She singled out Paul, whom she described as “a great defender of an international monetary system anchored on the gold standard.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.