According to The Telegraph, a French MP demanded an inquiry be made into Steve Bannon's links with Marine Le Pen:

Mr Lefebvre made the demand in an open letter to the heads of the National Assembly’s law and foreign affairs committees after the public television channel France 2 revealed alleged close links between Ms Le Pen’s party and Mr Bannon.

Wikipedia confirms Bannon's support for European right wing populist movements:

Bannon is supportive of several European right-wing populist national conservative movements such as the Hungarian Fidesz, the French National Front, the Spanish Vox, the Dutch Party for Freedom, Alternative for Germany, the Italian Northern League, the Brothers of Italy, the Freedom Party of Austria, the Sweden Democrats, the Finns Party, the Flemish Vlaams Belang, the Belgian People's Party, the Polish National Movement, and the Swiss People's Party

I can understand that association with a US political figure might influence French voters, but why the need for an investigation?

Question: Why are Marine Le Pen's possible connections with Steve Bannon something worth investigating?


1 Answer 1


The funding of political parties is strictly organized by the law in France. Even a former President can be prosecuted, and potentially sent to jail, for cheating with the regulations.

In the outtakes of a documentary about Mr. Bannon by Alison Klayman, Bannon is filmed discussing Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National financial difficulties, and being offered regular meetings with the party's leadership.

MP Lefebvre asked for an enquiry about these talks

pour intelligence avec une puissance étrangère

(for intelligence with a foreign power)

and seems to focus on two points:

  • whether they have led to an illegal financial aid by Mr Bannon (or a foreign power he might have represented, i.e. the USA since he is a former Senior Counselor to the US President, as pointed in a comment) in favor of Rassemblement National.

  • whether high-level civil servants have met Mr Bannon in order to advance Rassemblement National's agenda (which might conflict with their commitment to serve the French state).

Mrs Le Pen denies vehemently her Party would have done anything illegal.

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    Steve Bannon is also a former Senior Counselor to the President, and while that relationship publicly ended on a sour note that doesn't necessarily mean he isn't still connected to the administration privately. May 17, 2019 at 11:38
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    @MichaelSeifert by 'rushes' I mean images that were shot but didn't make the cut for the documentary. The images were released recently by French TV. I am not a native speaker, so maybe 'rushes' (that how we call it in French) is not the right word in English.
    – Evargalo
    May 17, 2019 at 18:52
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    Outtakes would be the English word for the parts of a work that didn't make it into finished version. In English rushes are the unedited footage shot on one day (and historically developed for viewing the next day.). In the US they're more commonly called dailies. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outtake en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dailies
    – Ross Ridge
    May 17, 2019 at 20:29
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    @RossRidge thanks, I have edited 'outtakes' in the answer.
    – Evargalo
    May 17, 2019 at 21:07
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    FYI, 'rushes' is a valid word in English filmmaking, but (along with 'dailies', which is also a word for newspapers), it's probably unknown outside the industry, whereas 'outtakes' is a reasonably well-known word.
    – user12171
    May 18, 2019 at 0:10

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