President Donald Trump’s estranged adviser Steve Bannon told a far-right gathering in France on Saturday that they should handle accusations of racism with pride.
“Let them call you racists,” Bannon said to the French National Front Party. “Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”
Bannon told the National Front crowd that he had learned from traveling the world that “history is on our side” and that “the globalists have no answers to freedom.”
At a news conference following his speech, Bannon gave his explanation for the recent high-profile staff departures from the White House.
In response to a question from CNN, Bannon said, “I think President Trump has been pretty straightforward in saying, hey, when we first started, some of these advisers are what he would call globalists, and he’s clearly pivoting to more economic nationalism.”
Bannon added that the pivot was partly in order to prepare for the upcoming midterm elections.
“He’s got to energize that base and turn that base out,” he said.
Bannon was himself a high-profile departure from the White House last August and was written off by Trump earlier this year, who named him “sloppy Steve,” following the publication in January of incendiary comments attributed to him.
Following the White House’s disavowal of Bannon, the right-wing media company Breitbart News parted ways with Bannon, who has since emerged in the public eye on a few occasions.
Last week, Bannon appeared in Rome to observe the elections and advocated for an alliance between the anti-immigrant League party and the populist Five Star Movement in Italy.