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

Raikkonen'can't wait for F1 season as testing ends

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, urged a crowd of far-right supporters in France to wear the "racist" label "as a badge of honor".

Politically isolated in the United States, Bannon has embarked on a whirlwind tour of Europe, seeking to lead, in his words, the "global populist movement".

Steve Bannon, former Donald Trump strategist and architect of the U.S. president's nationalist, anti-immigrant campaign platform, will attend a Sunday congress of France's far-right National Front party.

He said that Bannon understood like Trump, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen that people want to control their own destiny. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. "Wear it as a badge of honor", he told the crowd at the party congress.

Macron won with 66% of the vote vs. 34% for Le Pen, who had threatened to curb immigration and pull France out of the European Union, among other measures.

"History is on our side", Bannon said to hearty cheers.

He praised Le Pen's vision of a political spectrum that is no longer left- right but nationalists versus globalists.

Bannon had faced mounting pressure after he was quoted disparaging President Trump and his family in Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House".

"Let them call you racists", Bannon said to the French National Front Party.

Bannon has already spoken in Zurich, Switzerland at an event organized by a conservative publication, and on Saturday headlined the annual conference for France's National Front.

Bannon spoke only about the 28-year-old neice at the joint news conference with Marechal-Le Pen.

Watch a clip of Bannon's speech in Lille above, via ABC News.

Le Pen's young and ambitious niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, who claims to have withdrawn temporarily from politics, is also biding her time.

The congress would mark a significant break with Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front in 1972 and has called a name change a "betrayal".

A new name, a new leadership structure and new bylaws are being unveiled at the two-day congress with the hope of making the party relevant again. "I am not offended when I hear President Donald Trump say 'America first, ' " she said.

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.

The party conference in Lille will also feature a vote as to whether the elder Le Pen can keep his title as the party's honorary president.

Le Pen has long sought to "de-demonize" her party by distancing it from its origins.

"She wants to revive her links with party members and gear up for next year's European Elections".

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