Steve Bannon’s ‘Movement’ Enlists Italy’s Most Powerful Politician

Steve Bannon’s ‘Movement’ Enlists Italy’s Most Powerful Politician


Mr. Salvini has shrugged those off as distractions. Mr. Bannon agreed, saying that by March the campaign for the European Parliament would be in full swing, with the intensity of the American presidential election in 2016, and that everyone will be talking about it “in cafes around Europe.”

“This will be the time for the populists to take over,” Mr. Bannon said.

His goal, he said, is less winning a majority of legislators than sending enough populists to gum up Parliament and block the agenda of Mr. Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and thus “command by negation.”

Mr. Modrikamen added that he envisioned Mr. Salvini and other members of The Movement meeting in Brussels to hammer out common positions and to coalesce as a “blocking power.”

Mr. Bannon attracted new attention this week when The New Yorker disinvited him from its annual festival because liberal celebrities and writers had protested his inclusion. He met with Ms. Meloni this week in Venice, where he was doing publicity for the world premiere of “American Dharma,” a portrait of Mr. Bannon by the veteran documentary maker Errol Morris, at the Venice Film Festival.

Mr. Bannon brought some extra star power to the Friday meeting — Mr. Kwatinetz, a manager and television producer with links to, and feuds with, some of the most influential people in the entertainment industry.

Mr. Salvini, Mr. Bannon recounted, had said he was impressed that the producer had come “all the way from Hollywood.” Mr. Bannon said he told the Italian political leader to be careful because “he’s looking to manage you.”

After the meeting, Mr. Bannon said Mr. Kwatinetz, a political liberal, told him he was impressed with Mr. Salvini. The Italian’s charisma, his blue jeans and white sneakers, his blue blazer and white shirt convinced him “that he’s got it. Star quality.”



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