Is Trump reaching out to Europe’s far right before he talks with the heads of state?

The Washington Post reports: Marion Maréchal-Le Pen — a rising star in France’s far-right National Front and the niece of the party’s leader, Marine Le Pen — wrote on Twitter on Saturday that representatives of President-elect Donald Trump had invited her to “work together.”

Le Pen, 26, became the youngest member of France’s Parliament in 2012. She was elected to represent Vaucluse, a region in southern France with heavy ties to the National Front, a party founded by her grandfather, the 88-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen. He once referred to the Nazi concentration camps as a “detail of history.”

“I answer yes to the invitation of Stephen Bannon, CEO of @realDonaldTrump presidential campaign, to work together,” Marion Maréchal-Le Pen tweeted.

Bannon — the former executive chairman of Breitbart News Network with ties to the so-called alt-right — is rumored to be among the possible candidates for Trump’s chief of staff. [On Sunday, Bannon was named as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.]

Her tweet reflected a highly unusual phenomenon: an American president-elect seeking to forge relationships with ultranationalist and populist factions overseas that are often sharply critical of their countries’ governments. It also raised the question of whether Trump and his representatives have been reaching out to foreign populist parties before first reaching out to foreign heads of state. [Continue reading…]

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