Former senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump and former executive chairman of Breitbart News Stephen K. Bannon declared French populist leader Marine Le Pen the leader of Europe’s populist movement.
Mr. Bannon added he expected that if Ms. Le Pen runs for the French presidency in 2022, she has a very good chance of winning France’s highest political office, L’Express reports.
“If she is nominated by her party and leads a good campaign, I believe it,” Bannon said and added: “Marine Le Pen is, for me, the leader of the populist movement in Europe. She is one of the most important political figures on the international scene.”
“The attacks that she has to face from the media are so personal, so brutal, that you really have to have a leather skin, she seemed almost unshakable, she is totally focused on her mission,” he said in an interview with conservative weekly magazine Valeurs Actuelles.
Last week, Bannon made international headlines after he gave a speech to a congress of the Front National, which was later rebranded at the conference as the Rassemblement National (National Rally).
Bannon in France: ‘History Is On Our Side https://t.co/C2zs8Nqwpw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 11, 2018
Bannon spoke to the enthusiastic crowd, saying: “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 bigger than France, bigger than Italy,” Bannon added and said: “History is on our side.”
Bannon is not the only one looking at the newly branded National Rally with favour. Former French conservative Republican party Transport Minister Thierry Mariani also expressed a desire for his party to look at working with National Rally and forming a right-wing alliance.
“Can we come to power on our own, can we constitute a majority without allies, the answer is no. Without allies, we will stay in opposition for a long time. It is time to turn the tables. The National Front has evolved. Watch if an agreement or a rapprochement are possible,” he said.
Bannon’s speech in France marks a European tour which has seen him in Italy during the recent the country’s national election that saw a massive victory for populist anti-establishment parties, and in Switzerland where he gave another speech in Zurich to a sold-out arena.
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