Rome (AFP) - French far-right leader Marine Le Pen distanced herself Monday from US President Donald Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon, saying it was not up to an American to "save Europe".
Bannon has been increasingly visible in Europe in recent months, touting plans for a Brussels-based foundation called "The Movement" to spark a populist right-wing revolt across the region.
"Bannon is not European. He is American," Le Pen said at a press conference with Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in Rome. "But it is us and only us who will shape the political force resulting from European elections," the head of the far-right National Rally (RN) said.
Le Pen, Salvini and other far-right, anti-immigrant parties hope to upset the balance in the European parliament after the vote in May next year.
Le Pen rebranded her National Front party after losing last year's French presidential election to Emmanuel Macron.
"It is we who represent the different peoples in Europe, who structure the political force that aims to save Europe. Let that be very clear," she said.
Salvini had met Bannon at the start of September, saying he wanted to be at the forefront of a movement to "save Europe".
RN vice-president Louis Aliot recently said the party would "certainly" join the Bannon foundation.
But Le Pen's niece Marion Marechal, described as a rising right-wing star by the American, said that it was difficult to "make out the shape of (Bannon's) project".