“Lobbyists like Mr. Bannon, close to the American executive, are saying it,” he said.
In fact, the far right’s ties to Mr. Bannon had handed Mr. Macron a golden opportunity to depict Ms. Le Pen’s party as controlled by foreigners. That is an odd and vulnerable place for a nationalist party to be.
“There is a strong, persistent anti-American vein,” said Jean-Yves Camus, an expert on far-right movements at the Fondation Jean Jaurès research institute in Paris. “And a great way to hit the National Rally is to portray it as the double-foreigners’ party” — American and Russian.
Mr. Henri-Lévy, for his part, stood on the steps of the Élysée Palace after a lunch with President Macron, declaring himself upset to see Europe “corrupted from the inside by little populist thugs manipulated by Mr. Bannon.”
Mr. Bannon chuckled. “French guys throwing their toys out of the pram,” he said.
The disdain is strictly mutual. Mr. Bannon concentrated much of his fire on Mr. Macron, insisting that the French leader was going to lose big in the European Parliament elections.
Mr. Macron, he said, “is a product of the system” — the globalist system of free-moving capital that had betrayed working-class voters, valiantly championed by Mr. Trump, in Mr. Bannon’s restless farrago.
As for himself, “I totally identify with the gilets jaunes,” Mr. Bannon said, referring to the Yellow Vest protesters whose often violent demonstrations over low wages and diminished expectations rocked Mr. Macron’s presidency for six months.
Mr. Bannon seemed to overlook the fact that the Yellow Vests have destroyed and vandalized symbols of excessive wealth in the heart of the capital. Had they been allowed anywhere near the Bristol — two blocks from the Élysée Palace in one of the most heavily protected zones in Paris — they might have trashed it.
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