Steve Bannon has rejected any suggestion his work to boost support for far-right parties in Europe is an attempt to “impose some sort of American solution” on the continent’s political landscape.
The former White House strategist, who has previously said Boris Johnson could be a great UK prime minister, also dismissed any notion that he was advising the politician, who is seen as having the potential to be a future Conservative Party leader.
Mr Bannon spoke at the Bloomberg Invest event in London during a section of the event entitled Populism, Protectionism and Economic Nationalism’s Impact on the Markets.
The US right-winger, who worked on Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential election bid but resigned from the White House last year, gave a brief answer when asked about Mr Johnson, someone he is understood to have had contact with during a previous trip to the UK.
He said: “I know Boris, I don’t think he needs advice.” Mr Bannon discussed his plans to set up a foundation called The Movement, which he said will have “sophisticated” polling and help to target voters.
He said: “I think what the movement and the association is is leaders, parties and countries that want an EU that’s a collection of sovereign nations.”
Next year’s European elections will be equivalent in their intensity to an American presidential election, he predicted.
“It will be what people are talking about in cafes, it will be what people are talking about at dinner parties,” he said.
He also addressed comments made earlier this week by French far-right politician Marine Le Pen who distanced herself from Mr Bannon when she said only Europeans will save the continent from taking orders from the EU, not Americans. Mr Bannon said he is in agreement with Ms Le Pen.
“As an American I’m not over here to tell anybody how to run their elections,” he said.
“The Movement is going to be a European effort with Europeans, and Europeans have to make the decisions along with the political parties and they also know how to run their own elections.
“I think the world of Le Pen, I think the world of the Front National and I think she’s absolutely correct and we discussed this many, many times.
“I’m not there to kind of impose some sort of American solution on this.”
In March, Bannon spoke at Ms Le Pen’s then-named National Front – now National Rally – party congress, which had been aimed at rebranding the far-right group’s image. Today he also brushed off suggestions of any second Brexit vote, saying such an idea is an example of the “nullification project”.
“Democracy works until the global elite start to lose an election and all of a sudden the little guy doesn’t know what he’s voting for,” he said.
“This is the perfect example of the real resistance and the nullification project.
“You’ve got Brexit and Trump, they’re inexplicably linked, and you’ve had the nullification project from day one, that people didn’t really understand what they were going for.”