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.
Steve Bannon & his allies have leased a monastery in the Italian countryside for 19 years, where they plan to build a school for budding populists and “modern gladiators.” But it’s ignited protest from locals, who want Bannon to take his right-wing populist agenda elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/kHWhY86SQu
— On Assignment with Richard Engel (@OARichardEngel) April 16, 2019