Trump former strategist Steve Bannon addresses France's far-right party congress

Trump former strategist Steve Bannon addresses France's far-right party congress

Trump former strategist Steve Bannon addresses France's far-right party congress

Bannon, an American nationalist who ran the right-wing Breitbart News, was among Trump's closest aides during the 2016 United States election campaign, the presidential transition and his first months in office.

Weidel's office said that Bannon, the former executive chairman of conservative news website Breitbart, could offer expertise in the areas of political strategy and alternative media channels.

Bannon was booted from the White House past year amid tensions and stepped down as chairman of the Breitbart News Network in January after being dubbed "Sloppy Steve" by the President for providing information to the author of a controversial White House tell all.

"I did not come here as a teacher, I came here to Europe as an observer and to learn", he added, pointing at recent elections in Italy as a sign of a rising populist wave.

Bannon told the crowd, "Let them call you racists".

"You're part of a worldwide movement bigger than France, bigger than Italy", Bannon told National Front supporters, denouncing central banks, central governments and "crony capitalists".

"You fight for your country and they call you racist". Let them call you nativist.

Speaking in Paris before Bannon's address, former party head Jean-Marie Le Pen, from whom Marine took over the leadership in 2011, dubbed the American's visit "paradoxical" and "not exactly the definition of "de-demonisation" his daughter has sought to give the party.

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At home, she is banking on divisions between pro-Macron centrists and rightwingers tearing his party apart, making the FN France's biggest party of the right.

He said that Bannon understood like Trump, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen that people want to control their own destiny.

Ten months since losing the presidential election, the 49-year-old MP has promised a "cultural revolution" at a two-day congress in Lille to broaden the appeal of the far-right party that was launched in 1972 by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Marion "doubtlessly has more going for her than me, starting with youth", her aunt told RTL in unusually frank comments.

Le Pen defended inviting Bannon to the meeting, saying it was important to listen to the man who was "the architect of Donald Trump's victory" and has written about globalization, protectionism and giving to regular people the power that "has been practically illegally captured by the elite".

Steve Bannon delivers a speech during the French far-right Front National (FN) party annual congress, March 10, 2018 in Lille, France.

Marechal-Le Pen, the darling of the FN old guard, withdrew from politics previous year but made a high-profile appearance last month at a conservative jamboree in the USA, fuelling speculation about a comeback. She was not present at the congress in Lille on Saturday, having said she is now working on an education project.

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