Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former strategic adviser and one of the key figures in “Russiagate”, has added France to its European gig list, visiting the all-party congress of France’s National Front led by Marine Le Pen, runner-up in the second round of last year’s French presidential election.
Bannon, who came as a surprise guest, addressed the delegates of the meeting with a fiery speech, blessing the party for its accomplishments and inspiring attendees to consider it a part of a “a worldwide movement, that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary. He concluded “The tide of history is with us, and it will compel us to victory after victory after victory.”
Citing “our dear President Trump,” as he referred to his former boss, the politician said “we’ve had enough of globalists” pointing out that the left-right spectrum is outdated. He underscored this by referring to the financial crisis. “During the 2008 financial crisis, the governments and banks looked after themselves above all; they saved themselves and not the people.” He also gave FN an account of Trump’s chief goals, which are stopping “massive immigration", brining manufacturing back from China and elsewhere; and the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also didn’t miss his chance to slam the establishment media, calling them “the dogs of the system” and encouraging his listeners with the words “Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal.”
The convention, which began in Lille in northern France on March 9th, is to mark a milestone in the party’s history, as Le Pen earlier revealed in an interview with the French broadcaster France 2. She said it was time to change the branding and the name of the party. She insisted her party “must acquire the culture of alliances, acquire the culture of a government party,” although she stressed that the FN sticks to their basic views.
France was the third country Bannon visited during his trip to Europe, his first stops were Switzerland and Italy. He reportedly met many European-based nationalists and right-platform movements, including the leader of the Alternative for Germany party.
Back at home, he is under investigation for involvement in alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign, as well as Russia’s reported interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He was a key figure during Trump's campaign and later served as a White House Chief Strategist for several months; however, he was forced out in August, 2017.