"I’ve become the target of so many attacks that I can only think about them as bullying, a mobilization against me," Fillon said in an interview on Europe 1’s morning show.
The flag-bearer for the center-right The Republicans party was forced on the defensive again after a French newspaper claimed he accepted two suits from a friend last February worth over $13,000.
Fillon dismissed a potential conflict of interests in receiving expensive clothes, saying this was his private business. Presidential candidates in France are barred from taking donations of over $4,900 per contributor.
Once a favorite to make it into the runoff, Fillon saw his popularity rating slump after the Penelopegate, a story made public by a French tabloid that claimed his wife had been paid public money for work she had not done. Fillon denied the allegations.