tv Francois Fillon News Conference CSPAN February 6, 2017 3:06pm-3:56pm EST
of time but thank you for joining us. heather: thank you, brian, very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about is program, visit us at qand a.org. q&a" are available at c-span podcast. >> and today in the senate, debating the nomination of betsy devos to be education secretary. democrats say they have speakers lined up throughout the night and into the morning. a confirmation vote is scheduled for tomorrow with work on more nominations later
in the week. live coverage under way now on c-span2. and some news today on the upcoming french elections. the bbc reporting that central right francois fillon has apologized for overpayments for work in parliament. he said though the practice was legal, the french people no longer accepted it and he had made a "mistake." he has claims that his wife and two of his children were paid for nonexistent work. and some people in his party feel he should step aside. recent polls have suggested he may be eliminated in the first round
of the presidential elections in april. you could read more at bbc.com. here is mr. fillon's news conference this morning. >> live now to the campaign headquarters of francois fillon who will be addressing the french people amid allegations funds. ed
francois: ladies and gentlemen, i am speaking to you and all french citizens because a legit mate sentiment has pushed me to do so. i understand the questions i will be asked. i understand the need for clarification and i will do so. i will do so because i have nothing to hide. i will do so because i cannot accept the accusations, the baseless accusations that have been targeted at me after 32 years of political life. 32 years without any judicial problem. 32 years of irreproachable, ethical behavior.
i would like to tell all my fellow country men and women that over all these years, i have worked for my country without ever breaking the law and without ever contradicting my values. today, as a candidate for the
presidential election, i'm facing an incredibly violent attack. to my knowledge this has never occurred before. this is unprecedented under this republic. and i would like to say strongly that it's for the presidential candidate who is aimed at, who is targeted today and i fully assume all my responsibility. all the facts that have been mentioned are legal and transparent. i have -- i was questioned for four hours by the police. penelope, my wife, for five hours. we told them everything. we answered all their questions. the reality of the facts are as follows -- yes, i employed my wife as an employee. she then worked for my replacement member of parliament and then she became my parliamentary assistant,
again, later on. so she occupied this position for 15 years altogether, and she was paid on average, on a net ly basis 3,677 euros month. a perfectly justifiable salary for a person who is a graduate in arts and in law. figures of up to a million yearos have been banded about to create a sensation, forgetting that this amount was a gross amount. have you ever seen somebody's renew mexicoeration over 15 numeration over 15 years as a gross slry, not a net salary. -- salary, not a net salary. this job was described as fictitous. a lot of so-called experts have
decreed what a parliamentary assistant must do or not do. all elected officials know that this job covers a whole range of parts. they know that it is not limited and cannot be limited to blowing up laws in the national assembly and they know this job requires a whole series of modest actions by the parliamentary assistant in the shadows alone and they may seem benign to some people, but these tasks are indispensible for the functioning of local democracy. during all these years, my wife took charge among those simple but essential tasks. he, with my secretary, who managed my mail, she managed my diary.
for local events, inaugurations, sports events, cultural events and ceremonies, she worked. she worked on my speeches in the county. she represented me in local cultural events. she also received and sent to companies the c.v.'s and requests for jobs sent to me by the inhabitants of la salle. she processed any claims, any complaints by my constituents when they faced administrative problems. the list she did doesn't stop there. her salary was pfed justified because her work -- perfectly justified because her work was indispensible to my activities as an elected official. this work she did also for my replacement when i became a minister, a government minister. i wanted her to do that. i wanted to preserve the link with my constituency and it is
my wife who played this essential role. people say she didn't have a pass to enter the national assembly. that means she didn't have a job. a lot of employees, a lot of work who work in the constituencies don't have a pass to enter. no personal email address. that doesn't mean she didn't have a job. we know that this is often the case. i also know a lot of comments have been made on my wife's statement that she has never been involved in politics. a parliamentary assistant does work in the field of politics but the politics is actually undertaken by the elected officials. after the last election, because she loves local politics, penelope decided to be elected as a municipal counselor, a local counselor. an interview in english which she gave many years ago which has been quoted out of context
in which she explained she has never been my assistant. yes, she has never been my subordinate. she's always been first and foremost my work companion and my collaborator. penelope has never claimed to be in the lime light. she has worked discreetly, refusing to speak in my place as some wives of politicians do. and today we -- she is being accused of seeking the lime light and i say that her way of working was dignified. so let's not exaggerate, let's not judge the words that she made in an interview which do not correspond to 30 years of life. i employed two of my children who worked for 15 months in 2005 and twoucks. -- 2006.
one of them six months and the other as parliamentary employees. a monthly net salary of 3,000 euros each. nothing was hidden. all the job contracts are legal, were legal and are legal. the amounts received were declared to the tax and were taxable and the amounts of remuneration respected the limits which are -- the credits which are given to each members of parliament. members of parliament are allowed to work with whoever they deem has their trust and their required skills. yes, ladies and gentlemen, all of this was legal. but does not mean that from a moral point of view i have nothing to reproach myself. this ethical question is so important that i have to examine my conscience in this
regard and the french and only the french will decide, will judge. it is not up to the media to judge me. it is for the french to judge me. it is for the french to decide. the most important courage in politics is to recognize any mistakes you make. working with your family in politics is a practice which the french now reject. what was acceptable in the past is no longer accepted today. my working with my wife and my ildren, i gave priority to a relationship of trust which today is called into question. it was a mistake. i deeply regret having made this mistake, and i would like to apologize to the french citizens. like many other parliamentarians, i have acted line with customs and legal
customs. to date, fellow citizens don't want this practice to continue. three years ago i put an end to all political collaboration with my -- the members of my family except -- and this is not the case of all those today. the system needs to be reformed. if it needs to be reformed, let's reform it by opening up the debate on the conditions in which parliamentarians do their job and how their teams work. i would like to remind you that i clearly indicated under great pressure from my fellow parliamentarians that i will not allow parliamentarians to have several elected mandates. in other words, the status of a parliamentarian needs to be clarified. i have nothing to hide.
i will publish on the internet this evening a table showing what my -- the income which my wife earned, and i will also publish the information which i gave the authorities in december. my assets are made up of my home in la stat which is valued to be worth 750,000 euros. i have a 44% stake in my father's house in the basque country worth 130,000 euros and 1/3 of his value of his home in la stat which is worth 41,000 euros. i am not subject to the tax paid by wealthy people. some people have jokes about my bank account. let's look at my bank account in detail. y wife and i married under community of wealth. we have a number of insurance
contracts, savings accounts, current accounts which we have in our names. some of which we share and we have various savings passbooks. l these accounts in a branch in the county of la stat. with regard to my company, between 2012 and 2016, i legally gave conferences, lectures in many countries. i advised companies. among them the femelat company. i was a member of the advisory board of a company and was consulting advisory. the list of my customers does not contain a russian government or the russian government or russian company and all the lectures which i
have given in russia were given free of charge. i have always made transparency a rule of my life. when i was prime minister, i tightened up the rules on transparency and ethics. i restricted the use of the aircraft belonging to the state. i also clarified the rules governing flats and apartments occupied by military. i punished ministers who were excessive, who spent excessively. and regarding the size of the apartment which i had when i an prime minister, when authority that visited the apartment and she is well-known and she can testify to the fact i did in fact give very accurate description of the flat which i occupied as prime minister. so everything is on the table. so transparency should apply to
everybody. everybody must be treated fairly and be treated by the media in the same way. the debate today must focus on my political action and on my project. all the rest is an operation which aims to distract our fellow citizens from the real challenges facing this election. the purpose is to make it very difficult for the electors who voted in the primaries who freed themselves from the system, they put me at the top. they elected me because i have a program which will break with the past. i'm the only one who can do that. i would like to tell the millions of french citizens who have chosen me that their choice will be respected. nobody can deprive them of their choice, of their voice. the system requires during the primaries that nobody can decide on the results in the place of the electors.
so i have been described as a conservative. where i am proving a break with the past. i have been told as a member of the elite class but in fact it is the only one who can come up with the right solutions. danger is to entrust our future to the extreme right which is no y a family which has program and which is made up of a group of personalities who are fascinated produced by the system we have. what we are experiencing today is a desperate attempt to organize face to face between these two powers. does this mean that the left has no responsibility for what it has done during the five years of president hollande's mandate? does france no longer have any
problems with terrorism whereas the pressure on our country by islamists are still very strong? is there no problem of employment, of excessive charges, no problems of education? nothing will diverge me, will send me away from my will to restore france's position and to give the french hope. i have been chosen by millions of french citizens, and i am not the candidate only of a political party. nobody can legitimately call into question the votes of our voters in the primary. that's why from this evening i announce this evening that a new campaign is beginning today. from this evening i will be holding a meeting with my campaign committee. tomorrow i will hold a meeting of parliamentarians. and tomorrow i will be in the
city of toirs. therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it is with renewed energy and determination that i will be campaigning in the next few weeks because france is at stake. i am now at your disposal to answer your questions. i would like to clarify. i would like to make it clear i will answer no questions regarding judicial proceedings under way which there is an inquiry which is being held. i have indicated that i answered the questions of the investigators for five hours. it's not the media are not a tribunal. >> mr. prime minister, you have just presented your excuses to the french. do you feel that you are still the best candidate to win the presidential elections or are you a handicap for the right? francois: i am the only
candidate capable of enabling our country to impose, to implement a break with the past. i have listened to a lot of people. i listened to the judgments of the french, and i know that the french reprove many of our citizens reprove what after 10 days of a media campaign, 10 ays during which the only -- only the accusations, only the accusers have been speaking. i will not give you the list of all the rumors that have been banded about as some people said as a prime minister i had my home listed as a historic monument and so on and so forth. the truth that in spite of all that the majority of right-wing french citizens want me to continue defending my project based on a break with the past.
most, the french of the right don't want to choose between marine la pen, an extreme left ogram and a program which is -- which only calls for more public spending. i'm the only candidate who can enable france to reborn -- to be reborn, recover. perhaps the violence of the attacks against me have strengthened, in fact, my determination. so my cool anger will give me more strength to defend my point of view. >> mr. fillon, you said on the 28th of august last year, there's no point of talking about authority when you have nothing to reproach yourself. today, given the excuses you've just given to the french, do you consider yourself still as somebody who is irreproachable and do you think you still have give the -- y to
francois: yes, i was elected to parliament in 198 2 i perhaps took moore time than necessary to understand the changes that occurred in french society. and yet i have not broken the law at any time. i have nothing to reproach myself in terms of complying with the law. yes, i consider myself today to be able to implement a project including a project which requires, that is based on the authority of the president of the republic and the state. do i have the legitimacy to ask the french to make an effort? i am not asking the french to make an effort. i am asking there should be work for all french people, that the french people should have more purchasing power. i want to increase their security. i want france to recover. i don't want france to continue as it is today in a situation
where there are six million people unemployed. nine million people under the poverty line. two million young people who are neither in training nor at school nor in work. the fight against terrorism has not been conducted with all the necessary vigor. notably as it regards to our foreign policy. i am not asking the french to make efforts. i am asking the french to help me, to restore the country, to help the country to recover. reporter: are you convinced and are you certain that no judicial judgment will counter your strategy? francois: yes, i am absolutely sure of that i know what i have done because i have a clear conscience and because i've always practiced total transparency, notably leaving
the people responsible for the ongoing inquiry. reporter: good afternoon. mr. prime minister, did your wife penelope know that she had a job as a parliamentary assistant when she says and writes in 2007 she said, i have never been my husband's assistant, does that mean -- does that mean that she said that i've never been my husband's parliamentary assistant? have you thought of reimbursing country? francois: my woman is a graduate, responsible person, how can you imagine that she's unaware of the work she does for more or has done for me, how can you imagine that my wife who has been working with me for nearly 30 years, mainly
in the county of la stat and in my constituency, that she has ne so unknown to herself and unwillingly? yes, my wife was fully aware that she was working for me and with me. when she made that statement in 2007 which was repeated in an accusation on a program, knowing -- somebody knowingly , and rds out of context it was an english broadcast, an english language broadcast aimed at british listeners or viewers and the topic of the interview is i will not be another sheryl dare. and the person who interviewed my wife personally has got in touch with my wife since then to say how shocked she has been about the use of that interview.
why would i pay back the money earned by my wife through her legitimate work? i would like to answer the question. i said earlier that i understand that public opinion of evolved of working family. i said earlier i will participate in reforming the status of parliamentarians and my wife has worked and earned the money and she's provided proof and evidence of that work. there is no doubt -- no need for me to reimburse the money. reporter: last week you said there was a constitutional coup d'etat. do you maintain maintain that accusation? do you have confidence in the justice system? francois: how can i not ask myself a number of questions. a very violent press campaign against me orchestrated just when i have been designated a
prime elections as candidate of the right at a time when the right has no other credible candidate? an reporter: an inquiry has been opened by the prosecutor's office who is probably not competent to do so in the 24 hours, in a very short time, and finally, this afternoon the secrecy of professional secrecy was violated by an evening newspaper. only the police inquiries, members of the financial prosecutor's office have access to the minutes, to -- not the lawyers exso the secrecy, professional secrecy has been violated by people responsible for the inquiry who have all been appointed by the government and that i think a lot of french people today understand that there is people obviously worried about what
has happened. on the 26th of january -- reporter: on the 26th of january you said you hired your ife in 1997. and you added that before that she worked for you free without being paid. she had been working with you since 1981 when you were elected. a few days later we learned that her first job contracts dated from 1988. did you lie to the ts-1 channel? francois: i have never had a tax adjustment, by the way. my taxes have never been called into question. as regards to your question, i'd like to say something in this regard. i would never have been -- imagined being accused of what i have been accused of.
i am an honest man and this is the reason why this accusation came like a thunder in the sky, out of the blue. it came out of the blue and this destabilized me. these accusations destabilized me because i just couldn't imagine that it would happen, that this would happen. so, yes, my first responses were not very clear. to recover ive days all the pay slips of my employees in parliament in order to assess the situation. yes, my work, my wife has been working for me since 1981 but she started to be paid in 1988. the only figures i had were hose provided by the newspaper. after five days of investigations, i was able to
reconstruct my wife's professional career which began 20 years ago and this afternoon on my website i will be publishing all the work contracts of my wife with the dates and the amounts of emuneration that she received. reporter: you eluded to the publication this afternoon by the newspaper of extracts. according to the extracts, your daughter was employed by you and your son also campaigned for nicholas sarkozy. are you concerned this information -- of this information? francois: well, let's talk about the work of parliamentary assistants. the second question concerns e parliamentary remuneration in the senate that were over
11,000 euros was paid to you from the senate. francois: regarding your second question, there are certain practices which i mentioned in my preliminary announcement which are very old and no longer acceptable to french people today. did i incity tute those practices? i am under investigation for those practices? no. should they cease? yes. this has motivated for me to propose to our fellow citizens that we should renew the status of elected officials so they are completely transparent. my son has never participated . any presidential campaign i told investigators that he helped me provide -- he provided me with some documentation to develop my
campaign. my daughter worked on other topics. notably on the documentation for a book which i published. and this allows me to come back to the question of the work by parliamentary assistance. in french we have a separation of powers. nobody has the right, nobody has the right to judge the content of the work done by parliamentary assistants except the member of parliament for whom they work. the member of parliament is in charge of the recruiting assistance, remune rating them with remunerating them many of parliament. the member of parliament is responsible for the content, for the work hours, place of work. given the separation of powers, nobody has the right to monitor. of course, the justice system has a right to check there is legal contracts, that there is real work is being done.
the justice system cannot judge the quality of the work. yes, my daughter had every right to work on the documentation for a political book which i wished to write, a book which i raised questions about the institution. even proposed suppressing the poster of prime minister. so she played her part and i played my part in this. reporter: you said earlier that a new campaign is beginning this evening. are you -- do you think you will be able to rally the republicans and all those who have been criticizing you? what consequences will this have you, do you think? francois: there is no plan b. that my friends said it's not possible to have a plan b. those who want me to withdraw from the presidential campaign are a small minority.
many of them had not voted for me in the primary and perhaps wanted -- they didn't accept the result of the primary. they wanted to see me go. the -- what counts is the message of support i received. what counts is the strength of those who vote for the right. what counts is for the men and women who work with me and who will be participating in the first strategic committee meeting of my campaign. the list will be published later and all the people who really count in my political family will be there. reporter: you asked for two weeks. you said if you fall further in the polls, could you go back on your -- francois: do you know what i think of opinion polls? i have had a lot of experience of opinion polls. for two years i was told that i had no chance whatsoever of
winning the primaries for the presidential elections. so opinion polls will not get me to change my opinions, no. nothing will make me change my decision. i am a candidate for the presidential elections, and i'm in the campaign to win it. reporter: prime minister, the opinion polls indicate the majority of the french of the right still support you, but beyond that president of the republic is not elected only by his political supporters but he's elected to bring the french citizens together, to unite french citizens. do you think you are in a good position to unite the french behind you? francois: yes. when the truth will have been
established, when everyone will have seen what i have been , that of is defamation it is completely in contradiction with the facts, the french will change their opinions. so after dozens of hours of television programs where so-called experts talked about the role of parliamentary condemn me nd all one after another, i heard very few voices defending me. is that what you call the normal functioning of democracy? three months before the presidential elections, none of you has wondered why there has been so much violence in this campaign. obviously it is the press' report -- role to report on
this event. they must carry out investigations when necessary, t the right bodies must be made responsible for this. but lynching, politically assassinating somebody as you have done for 10 days, assassinating a presidential candidate poses a problem to our democracy. i am convinced that the french are beginning to realize this and that you've gone too far. and today many french people consider, because of the violence of the attacks against me, the lack of balance in the judgment made that in the last resort they must support the candidate who has a program of change, of real change for the right. reporter: i would like to go back to what you just said about the accusations against
the power. you have talked about an institutional coup d'etat, and you have accused of government. do you think more precisely, are you thinking of jean pierre? you had to disagree with him a few months ago. he's now the secretary general. are you thinking of the minister of justice? are you thinking of the president of the republic? second question, you said that the people are legitimately changing -- the reality of employing members of the family in parliamentary assistants, do you -- will you pay back some of the money or the entire amount of money? some of your friends have said hat perhaps [no audio] francois: the money was
legitimately earned by my wife and my children. the first is i have no idea. i am simply saying there are some troubling facts. why is this campaign occurring now against me, why didn't this campaign against me occur six, eight months ago? why did this information appear all of a sudden? some facts go back over 20 years in the past relating to activities which were legitimate with work contracts, income tax statements and so on. and if i add what i already said that the public prosecutors -- prosecutor's office started interviewing people within 24 hours, within 48 hours and lawyers have themselves said that they're not competent. so there are a lot of strange facts. if you add the leaks, which i
just mentioned, it looks very much like a coup d'etat. i don't have anybody at my disposal to conduct an investigation. if you have any energy to do so, i invite you to do so. reporter: a question regarding what you have just said during this press conference, you underlined, again, that you're facing an institutional coup d'etat. at the same time you have changed your communication strategy. you have submitted your excuses. why didn't you do so earlier, for the reason i indicated earlier? francois: it took me a few days to recover from this accusation. i was destabilized. i wasn't expecting a violent campaign. it took me time to adjust, react. did take me time to measure the catastrophe that i have
suffered. i recognized that i am now standing up again and i've chosen a new strategy which i just presented to you and to the french which leads me to recognize that there are certain practices in our political life which are old practices which are no longer acceptable and also to indicate that i am not perfect by any means, that i've had a long political career which has been -- which has led to a project for the recovery of our country which has the support already of four million french citizens. reporter: you have talked about an attempt to assassinate you politically. who is going to benefit? who's going to benefit from this crime? francois: the crime will benefit those for the right not be presence in the second round
of the runoff of the presidential elections. can you imagine if the right has no credible candidate at the presidential election, if we leave to madam le pen the role of defending the right in the face of the other parties. so those who will benefit from this, those who don't support my program of change for france. reporter: you say that you're a victim of a media campaign. do you regret having criticized nicolas sarkozy in the past? francois: if you're eluding to a phrase which i criticized mr. sarkozy, i said if i am placed under investigation, i would not remain, i will not remain a candidate for the election. and i did say that the general would never have stood for presidency if he was placed
under investigation. the situation makes me think about a situation, but my determination remains entire. perhaps i will take one more uestion. reporter: these accusations probably efer to will generate tensions among the people in your own camp. how do you plan to unite all those who support you and the right? francois: well, i am now going to chair a meeting during which all the personalities you have just referred to will be present. reporter: some people are against you still. francois: well, political life is like that. it's not my way of acting.
what will count is that we're all going to come together and start a new campaign now because there's no other solution. there's no plan b. it's if the right of the center wish to be present, we must come together. we must unite. and this is what the vast majority of elected officials representing my political family have understood. and to conclude, may i remind you, as i said earlier, i am not the candidate of a political party. i am now facing all french citizens. i have been designated by the primary elections. so i am now going to go on a tour of france every day in both metropolitan france and overseas. i will be visiting the island and i will be campaigning and convinced that all these forces that support me will come together will unite because deep down and in spite of the
ambitions of one, they want france to recover. thank you very much. >> francois fillon there addressing the french public and answering the questions of reporters. his almost two weeks after a satirical paper who claimed that penelope had a fake job. here with me in the studio is doug herbert. francois fillon said there's no way he's dropping out of the race. he is of course a conservative candidate for the presidential election, the first round of which is in april. so he's staying in the race. he said he has done nothing wrong. employing his wife was perfectly legal but he did apologize to the french people and said he hadn't realized early, soon enough this would be a real issue. >> absolutely. that's a perfect summary. he staunchly defended the legality. said he absolutely did nothing
wrong in anything he did in his hirings over the years, the decades with his wife. at the same time he acknowledged that perhaps he made what he called an ethical -- there were ethical considerations and he made perhaps a mistake, that he was perhaps in his words took more time than necessary to understand the changes in heverage french society. it's a very interesting acknowledgment. we were talking about this earlier. the sense there is this entrenched system perceived more and more within but also the image of france abroad as being a system of nepotism, perks, immunity and privilege. if you are an elected official, this image, a lot of the critics of the system say they serve themselves before they serve the people. they enrich themselves before they try to enrich public life and the people. that's the criticism against a lot of elected officials. clearly there's that perception out there. now, francois fillon, he goes back to 1981. he's 62 years old.
he's been in politics for most of his life, his entire career, practically. and he's part of that system. he's part and parcel of the system. there is a very interesting part of this press conference. you know, we both watched it together here. you know, it's easy in the narratives of this story in the way it's developed into black and white thing. a corrupt politician all of a sudden. he's been outed, you know. there it is. tushay, we got you. there was a moment when he said, i -- he says, i regret not understanding these things earlier. i never imagined that i would be accused of what i've been accused of. he said there was a reason there was a delayed response on his part, this -- it took time, literally, he said for it to sink in. what these accusations were about. he was so much part of this system, his life, he honestly from his telling of it honestly did not think he was doing anything wrong. he said i'm an honest man. you could say all politicses caught with their hand in the
cookie jar might make a similar excuse. when you watch him, this is a very reserved man. this is a man that doesn't like talking to the press. doesn't like talking to the media reticent. this is probably the most painful political exercises of his career. he spent five years as prime minister in nicolas sarkozy's shadow, never questioning the boss. for him, this is an incredible -- it goes against every fiber in his nature in many respects. >> and he had some harsh words to the media. >> i think what's honest about it is i do feel he's being honest when he says he feels like he's being victimized, the victim of a political assassination, the lynching. the press will disagree and say it's their job to hold politicses to account, to hold them to political account. from from a swaw's perspective shes -- from francois'
perspective, he perhaps late to the game nunsing there were changes. perhaps, yes, he acknowledged there needs to be reformed in the way public officials do their jobs, the positions they're given and he's absolutely cognizant of that. but he was vitriolic toward the media he took aim at them. and his opponents, there is a plot, there is a conspiracy, people out to get him, that there is an institutional coup d'etat against them. in france, yeah, in a lot of countries you say this goes but especially in france sometimes the sense of plots, conspiracies, scheming against one another, parties, everyone is really always on their guard and vigilant about who might be out to get them next. so i do feel like he honestly -- he does feel like he was wounded, unjustly wounded in many senses, that the media spun this overly simplistic narrative without really asking some of the deeper questions and acknowledging he made some ethical errors.
beyond all that, all that hot air i just spun, a poll just before the press conference showed a french poll that 68% of the overall french public across all parties thought that it would be better for francois fillon to remove himself from this campaign, to pull out of this race for president. as we heard during this conference, that is the furthest thing from his mind. "nothing will make me change my decision. i am in it to win it." >> thanks very much, doug. doug herbert. that's it for me. back at the top of the hour. stay tuned. >> french broadcaster france 24 provided coverage of marine le pen's french at the national press party as she talked about demands for a referendum for france to exit the e.u. and national security. >> thank you for watching france 24. the presidential campaign is gaining momentum here in france. a week