Steve Bannon, former chairman of Right wing publication Breitbart News and former strategist for the White House, appeared at a congress of France’s Far – Right National Front party to lend support for economic nationalism as advocated by defeated presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
Bannon is on a European tour to promote economic nationalism in an effort to re-energize a global movement that helped elect Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. Bannon was at his usual no- holds barred, “take no prisoners” self when firing up delegates to the convention:
“Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honour. You’re part of a worldwide movement that is bigger than France; bigger than Italy.”
The National Front has never ascended to the presidency. Since assuming the National Front’s presidency in 2011, Le Pen is on a mission to re-shape the image of the party.
She wants to broaden the appeal of nationalism by eliminating traces of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen who has had multiple convictions for racism and anti- Semitism. Her father founded the National Front in 1972.
Marine Le Pen believes the legacy of her father may have led to her defeat to globalist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 presidential elections.
For his part, Bannon has taken his nationalist ideology on a European road trip as his future in American politics remains uncertain.
Although White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Bannon’s departure as Trump’s chief strategist was “mutual”, reports after the fallout indicated the President had grown tired of being constantly contradicted by Bannon in the media particularly on his position on North Korea.
Breibart News then fired Bannon as its Executive Chairman after Trump expressed indignation that Bannon told author Michael Wolff that the Trump campaign had engaged in “criminal and treasonous activities”.
Some quarters of the National Front were concerned Bannon’s presence would further put stigma on the party. But Le Pen defended her decision to invite Bannon and even described him as “the architect of Donald Trump’s victory.”