Bannon Is Converting An Italian Monastery Into A Bootcamp For Populists

on January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, is gunning for a new institution now that his work in America is done: make the Vatican great again.

Bannon is converting a $1 million, 800-year-old monastery outside of Rome into an “academy” for the training of “modern gladiators,” or the next generation’s populist leaders.

“I think the populist nationalist sovereignty movement is about the reinforcement of the traditional Judeo-Christian West,” Bannon told MSNBC’s Richard Engel. “What we’re saying is let’s have an academy that brings the best thinkers together and can actually train what we call ‘modern gladiators.'”

Bannon also lamented that the Pope is not a fan of the “populist nationalist” movement and argued that the Vatican “needs change.”

“This institution is in decline,” Bannon said, gesturing to the Vatican. “This is just the very beginning — it’s going to take years.”

Yet, Bannon’s beginning isn’t going very smoothly, as he has been met by floods of local protesters bearing signs and singing anti-fascist songs.

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