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> French far right presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, telling Reuters in an interview Tuesday that she knew she was lifting passages from a speech given by former conservative rival, Francois Fillon in her May Day address. Explaining It was really an homage to Fillon, despite the drumming she took from opponents on social media.
>> I was completely aware because these are passages written by someone who was my speechwriter in 2012 who then became Fillon's speechwriter afterwards. The idea was to give a nod.>> That nod, at least 50 seconds of Fillon's words uncredited, about people in foreign countries wanting to learn French and study at French foreign schools, an example she claimed at France's global might.
The controversy comes as the populist National Front candidate trails centrist frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, ahead of the presidential run-off Sunday. In a wide ranging interview, Le Pen telling Reuters, she stands by her hard line French first positions, such as plans to ditch the Euro, and possibly remove France from the European Union.
Adding she's better poised than rival Macron to face off with the world's most powerful leaders.>> I think I'm best placed to talk to this new world that's emerging>> To talk to Putin's Russia, Trump's United States. To talk to Britain's May, whatever she may say, to talk to Mode's India.
Because all of those countries are more or less turning their backs on the ideology of free trade, of competition and of undermining social protection, so I feel much more in line with their political philosophy than with Mrs. Merkel's>> Asked what she would say to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at their first meeting, La Pen answered France will now stand up for the interests of France.