Bannon rips Italian court over decision to block populist training center

Bannon rips Italian court over decision to block populist training center
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Italy’s top administrative court ruled against former White House adviser Stephen Bannon’s conservative think tank in a decision that Bannon called a politically motivated “joke,” The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Following former President Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, Bannon joined forces with the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, or the Institute for Human Dignity, with plans to form an academy to train populists and nationalists at the 13th century Trisulti monastery, the AP reported.

This was also around the same time that nationalist sentiment was increasing throughout Europe.

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Local residents, however, were opposed to the think tank, in addition to the Culture Ministry, led by center-left politician Dario Franceschini, which worked to cancel the lease given to the think tank, according to the AP.

The Culture Ministry accused the institute of a number of inconsistencies that the institute denied, the AP reported.

The Council of State ultimately ruled Monday that the Culture Ministry was right to cancel the concession it gave the institute, overturning a previous ruling by a regional administrative tribunal that sided with the institute.

Bannon called the ruling a politically motivated “joke” that was befitting of a developing country, the AP reported. He called the Italian government “corrupt, incompetent and broke,” and said it is not able to care for the monastery, which he also said he would fight to keep.

The AP noted, however, that it is unclear what additional legal options are available.

The center-left leader of the Lazio region praised the court’s decision while urging Bannon to leave the area.

Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Bannon pushes for documents in court case to be released Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims MORE and the sovereigntists must leave the Trisulti,” Nicola Zingaretti said, according to the AP, adding that he would work with the Culture Ministry to “return this marvelous place to the people.”

In January, hours before leaving office, Trump pardoned his former chief strategist, who was charged in August with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors who contributed money to help build a private border wall.

In February, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office reportedly subpoenaed financial records related to him and the crowd-funded southern border wall project, which raised more than $25 million.