Bannon to French far-right party: ‘Let them call you racists’
Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon encouraged members of France’s far-right National Front party on Saturday to embrace backlash to their positions as “a badge of honor.”
“Let them call you racists, let them call you xenophobes, let them call you nativists, wear it as a badge of honor,” Bannon told members of the anti-mass immigration party in video published by The Washington Post.
Bannon spoke at the National Front’s annual convention in the French city of Lille after traveling through Europe in recent weeks for meetings with populist leaders of various parties. From his travels, Bannon said he is now certain “history is on our side.”
Despite being ousted from his White House post last year and feuding with President Trump in recent months, Bannon praised the president’s “economic nationalism” that he said “does not care about your race, your religion, your ethnicity.”
“It cares about one thing: Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”
Bannon said that Trump’s policies are addressing the economic struggles seen by minority populations in the U.S., claiming that it took “someone like Donald Trump, that they run down as a racist every day, to solve the problem of the black and Hispanic working class.”
Bannon was reportedly set to meet with the French party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, at the convention Saturday. Le Pen lost a contentious campaign for president of France last year to centrist Emmanuel Macron.
The far-right leader has praised Bannon as “the architect of Donald Trump’s victory.”
Le Pen’s niece Marion Le Pen recently drew scrutiny from conservative activists by her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of Republicans and conservatives near Washington.
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