France's Le Pen in­ter­ested in Ban­non as­sis­tance of­fer

Tulsa World - - Front Page - By Elaine Gan­ley

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.

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