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Le Pen Aides Downplay Speech Plagiarism

  • VOA News

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen attends her meeting, May 1, 2017, in Villepinte, outside Paris.

Aides to French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen are downplaying criticism of a speech she gave Monday that included passages from an earlier speech by former rival Francois Fillon.

The May Day address to her supporters featured mentions of the geography of France and its "three maritime borders."It also had a quote by former Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau that Fillon used word for word in his speech last month.

Florian Philippot, the deputy leader of Le Pen's National Front party, said the candidate was making a "nod" to Fillon's remarks.

Le Pen will go against Emmanuel Macron in the second round of voting for the French presidency on May 7.

Macron narrowly beat Le Pen 23.8 percent to 21.5 percent in the first round of the election in April.

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