France's far-right party now 'adult' and needs name change: Le Pen
Mar 11 2018
"Let them call you racists, let them call you xenophobes, let them call you nativists, wear it as a badge of honor", Bannon told members of the anti-mass immigration party in video published by The Washington Post.
Bannon spoke only about the 28-year-old neice at the joint news conference with Marechal-Le Pen.
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".
Le Pen is seeking to make over her struggling party after her failed presidential bid previous year.
Bannon's surprise visit to the party's conference in Lille - announced via Twitter late Friday - marked the most recent stop on a European tour that has already included Switzerland, along with Italy, where last week voters abandoned establishment parties and opted for a hung parliament dominated by right-wing, anti-immigrant populists.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Bannon was a close ally and confidante of Trump, and he joined the West Wing staff as Trump's chief strategist.
National Front leader Marine Le Pen will meet Bannon at her party's convention in the French city of Lille on Saturday, her partner Louis Aliot said in a tweet.
Also on Sunday, the FN is expected to amend the party's rules, primarily to finally rid itself of its combative founder, Marine Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. A new leadership structure and new bylaws are also being unveiled at the two-day congress.
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.
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".
Likewise, Le Pen was a prominent contender for the French presidency in May 2017, but she lost to Emmanuel Macron in a landslide vote.
An election next year for members of the European Union's lawmaking arm will be the National Front's first chance to test whether its rebranding strategy leads to a comeback.
"Today's politics can not be summed up by the left-right divide".
On some level, the speech presented another development in the transatlantic relationship between far-right movements in the United States and Europe, particularly in France.
As FN president, she said she would propose a new name for the party at its conference on Sunday.
The weekend congress is expected to erase one persistent problem for Le Pen - her unpredictable, bombastic father - by eliminating his title of honorary president-for-life from party statutes.