Bannon and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen [File: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters]
Steve Bannon ‘planning foundation’ to boost far right in Europe
Report says Donald Trump’s controversial ex-adviser plans to set up a foundation ‘to spark populist right-wing revolt’.
Steve Bannon, the controversial former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, is planning to establish a political foundation in Europe to “spark a populist right-wing revolt across the continent”, according to a report.
The ex-head of right-wing website Breitbart News told the Daily Beast on Friday that his organisation, called The Movement, will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting and think-tank research for various nationalist parties in Europe.
“Right-wing populist nationalism is what will happen. That’s what will govern,” he said. “You’re going to have individual nation states with their own identities, their own borders.”
Bannon said he has held talks with right-wing groups and figure across the continent over the past year, including Nigel Farage in the UK and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in France to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and populist politicians in Poland.
Earlier this year, Bannon told a Front National gathering that they should accept accusations of racism with pride.
Under Bannon’s tenure, Breitbart pushed a nationalist agenda and became one of the leading outlets of the so-called alt-right – a loosely knit coalition of far-right groups that includes populists, white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis.
Many alt-rightists promote various forms of white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Bannon told the Daily Beast he was convinced the coming years will see an end to decades of European integration.He also said he envisages the organisation, which will likely be headquartered in Brussels, rivalling the foundation of billionaire George Soros, which has given away $32bn to liberal causes since its establishment in 1984.
He added that the organisation has set its sights on the 2019 European parliament elections.
The architect of Trump’s nationalist-populist campaign and his 2016 election victory, Bannon was nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness” and the “Shadow President.”
His economic nationalism became the lynchpin of Trump policies, even as many of his other ideas were rebuffed by policy rivals.
After new Chief of Staff John Kelly arrived, Bannon’s constant clashes with other advisers became untenable, as did his ties to the extreme right, which drew accusations that Trump fostered racists.
Bannon left the White House in August 2017.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES