France's Le Pen interested in Bannon assistance offer
PARIS — Marine Le Pen, the French far-right leader, has met with former White House strategist Steve Bannon and signaled her interest in his project to help European populist parties.
Louis Aliot, a vice president of Le Pen's National Rally party who is also her companion, said Friday on BFMTV station that she met with Bannon a day earlier in Paris.
According to Aliot, Bannon wants to provide “technical assistance” for nationalist parties ahead of next year's European elections but that he “doesn't want to play a (political) role.”
Two years on from helping to mastermind Donald Trump's successful campaign to become U.S. president, Bannon has his sights set on Europe and he is planning a foundation, called The Movement, to boost far-right parties.
“We're not going to say `no',” Aliot said with regard to getting help.
Le Pen's apparent interest in working
with Bannon stands in marked contrast to comments earlier this week when she said that only European voices should “shape the political forces ... to save Europe.”
Meanwhile, Le Pen's legal situation grew murkier on Friday as investigative judges upped preliminary charges against her over the alleged misuse of European Union funds by her and her party.
She is a suspect in a case over payments to parliamentary assistants in the EU parliament who reportedly worked elsewhere, including at her party headquarters.