Trump's ex-aide Bannon to address National Front congress in France

  • Trump's ex-aide Bannon to address National Front congress in France

Trump's ex-aide Bannon to address National Front congress in France

Steve Bannon, former Donald Trump strategist and architect of the USA president's nationalist, anti-immigrant campaign platform, will attend a Sunday congress of France's far-right National Front party.

"Let them call you racists", Bannon told the anti-immigrant party's audience on Saturday in France, as The Washington Post reported.

He praised Le Pen's vision of a political spectrum that no longer spans left-right but puts nationalists versus globalists.

Bannon spoke only about the 28-year-old neice at the joint news conference with Marechal-Le Pen.

Donald Trump's ex-chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has turned his gaze to European politics.

Le Pen is seeking to make over her struggling party after her failed presidential bid a year ago.

Bannon's visit to France was his latest stop on a tour of European countries, which has included Switzerland and Italy.

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former strategist and architect of the US president's nationalist campaign platform, is expected to attend a meeting of France's far-right National Front party.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen will meet Bannon at her party's convention in the French city of Lille on Saturday, her partner Louis Aliot said in a tweet.

France's far-right National Front is holding a party congress in Lille over the weekend, with leader Marine Le Pen expected to reveal the party's new name.

Le Pen was hoping that the National Front congress in Lille would help her reassert her authority, after her defeat to pro-Europe centrist Emmanuel Macron prompted criticism of her style and policies.

The name is expected to be unveiled only on Sunday, shortly before the party delegates vote on it.

Founded by Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in the 1970s, the National Front plans to change its name via a vote on Sunday.

Ten months ago, the party was on a high after Le Pen saw off the Socialist candidate to take the FN into the second round of the presidential election with unprecedented support, though not enough to defeat Macron.

But Bannon might have threatened Le Pen's makeover with his compliments for an extreme version of the National Front and lavish praise for Le Pen's more hard-line niece and rival.

Her party - widely seen as the alternative to Macron during the election - then fared poorly in France's legislative elections: in a parliament of 577 seats, the National Front now holds only eight.

However, Le Pen's credibility is among the potential obstacles to a possible far-right comeback: An annual poll published this week by the Kantar-Sofres-One Point firm showed Le Pen scoring lower on numerous questions.

Since taking over the National Front's presidency in 2011, Marine Le Pen has worked to broaden the party's appeal by erasing the footprint of her father, who has multiple convictions for racism and anti-Semitism.