Bannon says he will set up group in Europe to boost far-right figures
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's former chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon says he is setting up a political foundation in Europe in the hopes of swinging power across the continent in favor of right-leaning nationalist parties such as France's National Front, recently renamed to National Rally.

Bannon told the Daily Beast that his forthcoming Europe-based group, called The Movement, will likely be headquartered in Brussels and is meant to counter the influence of liberal billionaire George Soros and to encourage coordination between Europe's various nationalist parties.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was so successful that we're going to start staffing up,” Bannon said. “Everybody agrees that next May is hugely important, that this is the real first continent-wide face-off between populism and the party of Davos. This will be an enormously important moment for Europe.”

“Soros is brilliant,” he added. “He's evil but he's brilliant.”

Bannon pointed to Europe's relatively lower cost of doing politics compared to the United States as one reason why he was optimistic about finding success in the region.

The former Trump aide named Brexit, the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union (EU) that Bannon heavily supported, as a wake-up call for his efforts.

"When they told me the spending cap was £7 million [for campaigns], I go, ‘You mean £70 million? What the f---?’ £7 million doesn’t buy anything. It doesn’t buy you Facebook data, it doesn’t buy you ads, it doesn’t do anything," Bannon said incredulously.

“Dude! You just took the fifth largest economy in the world out of the EU for £7 million!” he added.

In the interview, Bannon also took aim at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he blamed for a deal with Russia's Vladimir Putin over an oil pipeline that supplies much of Germany. Trump blasted the deal during a NATO summit in Brussels earlier this month.

“This is the lie of Angela Merkel. She’s a complete and total phony. The elites say Trump is disruptive but she’s sold out control to Russia for cheaper energy prices," Bannon said.

Bannon was forced out of the White House last year by chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and was later criticized by Trump, who said in January that he felt "betrayed" by his former top aide's comments in an explosive book about his administration.

The former Breitbart chief, who left the publication last year, also weathered intense criticism last year for his support of Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore wants judge who ruled against him removed from case The Hill's Morning Report - Lawmakers split over Mueller findings: 'case closed' vs. 'cover-up' Roy Moore 'seriously considering' another Senate bid MORE, a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who was accused of pursuing teenage girls while he was in his 30s.