Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon praised Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Matteo Salvini, saying they were trying to get the “sovereignties of their countries back.”
Bannon was speaking at the Open Future festival organised by the Economist and said of the Hungarian prime minister and Italian interior minister, both of whom have taken a hard line on migration: “These people are trying to make their countries better. I certainly do not condemn Viktor Orbán and Salvini.
“These individuals, these populist national movements across Europe, are trying to get the sovereignties of their countries back,” the Guardian reported.
Bannon’s appearance at the festival, held to mark the 175th anniversary of the Economist, proved controversial. The musician Emmy the Great and lawyer and activist Mónica Ramírez pulled out of the event in protest.
The Guardian reported that protesters gathered outside the New York offices of the Economist while Bannon was speaking, holding banners reading “Don’t normalize Bannon!” and “Shame.”