Steve Bannon: Wear label of 'racist' as a 'badge of honor'

Marine Le Pen National Front political party leader and Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon attend the party's convention in Lille

Steve Bannon tells National Front members in France history is on their side

After ending his stint as Trump's campaign and later White House strategist in acrimony, Bannon has apparently turned his gaze overseas, recently making an appearance in Japan and this week conducting a tour of Europe.

"Let them call you racist".

"You fight for your country and they call you racist. Let them call you nativists", The Post reported. "Wear it as a badge of honor", he told the crowd at the party congress.

Le Pen past year made it to the run-off in the French presidential election which she then lost to Emmanuel Macron, whose policies she said were "putting down the middle and lower classes".

The Front National (FN) have been out of the media limelight after their defeat to Emmanuel Macron in last May's presidential elections.

His arrival in Paris comes as the far-right giant of French politics is in a slump. "And history is on our side".

He will address France's right-wing National Front and meet its leader Marine Le Pen after similar meetings in Italy and Switzerland. Bannon gave his first European speech in Zurich earlier in the week and said Saturday that he was traveling the world to learn. The former Goldman Sachs investment banker, who was ousted from the White House past year and stepped down as chairman of Breitbart News Network in January, has visited Switzerland - he gave his first European speech in Zurich earlier in the week - and Italy, where voters last Sunday elected a parliament dominated by anti-immigrant populists.


Bannon said he agreed with Le Pen's expressed belief that "it is not about left versus right".

Marechal-Le Pen, a Catholic hardliner and darling of the FN old guard withdrew from politics a year ago.

Le Pen came to Lille vowing to ditch the tainted FN brand, seen as a key hurdle to winning power, in favour of an as yet unannounced new name. A new leadership structure and new bylaws are also being unveiled at the two-day congress. "It has gone from a party first of protest in its youth, then an opposition party to a party of government", Le Pen said on French television.

The outcome of Italy's election last weekend has energized France's far right.

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. Jean-Marie Le Pen also is to be scratched from the party's books along with his title of honorary president-for-life.

Since taking over the National Front's presidency in 2011, Le Pen has worked to erase the footprint of her father - who has convictions for racism and anti-Semitism - to broaden the party's appeal. It won more seats in the European Parliament than any other French party in 2014.

An annual poll published this week by the Kantar-Sofres-One Point firm showed Le Pen scoring lower on numerous questions.

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