Editorial of the “World”. Who would’ve believed that ? He was said to be revolutionary, architect of the electoral victory and then gray eminence of Donald Trump, he was believed to be a genius strategist. We had feared his influence on European populist movements. The object of all fantasies in these troubled political times, Steve Bannon was perhaps, after all, just a simple con artist.
The former US alt-right guru star had, it is true, seriously paled lately. She was damaged Thursday, August 20, in a New York court, where Steve Bannon, 66, was indicted for embezzlement after being arrested on the yacht of an exiled Chinese billionaire. He has been released under judicial supervision, on bail of $ 5 million (4.24 million euros), and faces jail.
The irony of the indictment has not escaped anyone in Washington, where candidate Trump’s ex-campaign chief, who became his strategic advisor, had been the establishment’s pet peeve: Steve Bannon and his three acolytes, prosecuted in the same case, are accused of having embezzled money collected from the public to finance the construction of the famous anti-immigration wall on the Mexican border.
Steve Bannon would have had $ 1 million for his personal expenses
The construction of this wall was one of the great promises of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Mexico would pay for the wall, the candidate assured, knowing full well that Mexico would not pay. When Congress refused to vote the necessary funds, Mr. Trump’s supporters appealed to voters’ generosity by launching the “We Build the Wall” campaign. The association thus created quickly raised from 500,000 donors more than $ 25 million, of which, according to the prosecution, less than half was actually used for the construction of two sections of wall, in Texas and New Mexico. The rest was used for private purposes; Steve Bannon would have had $ 1 million for his personal expenses.
Many American commentators see this epilogue as a symbol of the Trump presidency itself and its broken promises, as its slogan “Make America Great Again” is shattered over the Covid-19 crisis on the eve of the ‘election. Promoter of the concept of “alternative facts” in a media era where the truth has been particularly abused, Steve Bannon has joined the cohort of friends or former friends of the president now in trouble with the law. Donald Trump greeted the news of his indictment by stating coldly that he hadn’t seen him for a long time; the strategic adviser had been removed from the White House after seven months.
Steve Bannon then set his sights on the radical European right. His ambition was to unify him in a great movement that was to bring down the European Union, during the European elections in May 2019. “The populist and nationalist right movements will win, he had predicted. They will rule. “ Some, like Marion Maréchal ex-Le Pen and Marine Le Pen, who greeted his speech “Informative and inspiring” at the National Front congress to which she had invited her, in 2018, believed to find there the recipe for the Trump model to reproduce. But Europe is not America. Hungarian Viktor Orban and Italian Matteo Salvini just met him. German and Scandinavian extremists found it too sulphurous. Steve Bannon repackaged his myths “Exciting”, and we forgot it.