“Have you ever heard me say something like that?” Le Pen asked during an interview on a French TV program, according to The New York Times. “I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion.”
Le Pen is known for her own provocative statements about “illegals” and Islam. In October, she went on trial on charges of inciting racial hatred for comparing Muslims praying on public streets to the Nazi occupation.
Le Pen’s National Front has ridden a recent wave of anti-immigrant hysteria, heightened after Islamic State-affiliated terrorists killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, to the top of the polls. The party took 30 percent of the vote in the first round of France’s regional elections this week.