France's Fillon overtakes centrist Macron in election ratings

Le Pen reportedly returned to her auto and said that she had previously met with the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar in Egypt without wearing a headscarf. She said she spoke to Hariri about the need for countries to discuss fighting Islamic State together.

"This is the protocol", the statement said.

The raids came about as Le Pen is visiting Lebanon meeting with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri to talk about the migrant crisis and the Syrian civil war.

"I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar", Le Pen said.

"You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up", she said. The money is now being deducted per month from LePen's MEP salary at a rate of €3,000 and all her expenses have been frozen. She said she had informed the mufti's aides the night before that she would not wear the headscarf but they didn't cancel the meeting.

Before meeting with the prime minister, Le Pen met with Aoun, saying they agreed during the meeting that the two countries should be "pillars" in organizing the fight against "Islamic fundamentalism". "The Edict House regrets such inappropriate behavior at such meetings", he added. While the terrorist militia Hezbollah - which is represented in the cabinet - is an active supporter on the ground of the Assad regime, many Sunnis sympathize with the anti-Assad opposition.

Nevertheless, the allegations against Le Pen have been drowned out by a fake jobs scandal engulfing her conservative rival Francois Fillon.

"I want to take part in the renewal of politics that Emmanuel Macron has launched", he said on France Info radio. One protester raised a drawing of Le Pen between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, with "Neo-fascists" emblazoned underneath.

The first round of the presidential elections will take place on April 23 and a second-round runoff on May 7.

It considerably strengthens his chances against Le Pen, as Macron would benefit from much wider support among centrist voters.

Some reports in the French media suggested the incident may have been premeditated in order to boost Le Pen's appeal in the presidential election.

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