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FILE PHOTO: Marine Le Pen, French far-right National Front (FN) party president, member of European Parliament and candidate in the French 2017 presidential elections, speaks to the media in Paris, France, January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo(reuters_tickers)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - French far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen was seen at Trump Tower on Thursday but she declined to say whether she was there to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, according to a Reuters witness and a media pool report.
Representatives of the president-elect did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her presence there but Trump spokesman Sean Spicer retweeted a media report that she was not meeting with Trump or his transition team.
Le Pen, the National Front leader, was seen entering an elevator at the building, according to a Reuters witness. She also was seen earlier talking with three unidentified men in the building and declined to say whether she was there for personal or professional reasons, the pool report said.
Reuters identified one of the men with Le Pen as Louis Aliot, her partner and vice president of National Front.
Le Pen's campaign confirmed her multiple-day visit to New York in a radio interview aired in Paris earlier on Thursday but characterized it as a private trip.
Trump, a Republican, has been hosting a series of meetings in New York before taking office on Jan. 20 after winning the U.S. election in November in a surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The group Human Rights Watch mentioned both Trump and Le Pen in a report warning that the rise of populist leaders threatens global human rights. The report cited Trump's victory as well as Britain's move to leave the European Union, which was led by Nigel Farage, who has been praised by Trump.
Le Pen, whose party holds anti-EU, anti-immigrant views, is expected to earn enough votes in the first round of presidential voting in April to enter a second round election set for May 7.
A week after Trump's victory, Le Pen said she, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin "would be good for world peace."
(Reporting by Laila Kearney and Emily Stephenson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Trott)