In an email, the Texas Republican’s spokeswoman, Rachel Mills, said, “Paul generally meets with foreign politicians and political leaders who request a meeting, particularly when they share his interest in monetary policy and the destructive nature of central banks.”
The National Front has long been associated with conservative reaction to France’s immigration policies and anti-Muslim sentiments.
But since taking control of the party in January, Le Pen has significantly expanded the National Front’s influence in France by focusing on global and regional economic concerns.
In that sense, she and Paul have some commonalities. Although he was largely marginalized during the 2008 presidential campaign, many of Paul’s libertarian views have since been embraced by many Republicans, and he remains popular among fiscal conservatives.
Still, the meeting is sure to raise eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic. The National Front, founded by Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, in 1972, has repeatedly been accused of attempting to incite violence against France’s growing Muslim, North-African population.
The elder Le Pen, who led the National Front until his daughter took over, has been one of France’s most divisive political figures. In 2004, a French court fined him 10,000 euros for “inciting racial hatred” in a newspaper interview, according to an AP article at the time. Le Pen had been found guilty of racism or anti-Semitism a total of six times as of 2004, according to the AP.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.