Steve Bannon, the man who supposedly played a major role in getting Donald Trump into the White House, is on the list of people who will be called to testify before Congress in the upcoming “not-quite-yet-impeachment” hearings. It will be interesting to see what kind of information committee members can get out of this insider of both the campaign and the early days of the Trump presidency.
So far, the investigation into the activities of Trump’s former chief strategist apparently hasn’t yielded much. The main finding of the Mueller report with regard to Bannon appears to be that he and Erik Prince may have successfully obstructed justice by accidentally losing (read: deliberately deleting) the communications they had regarding the ill-famed meeting in the Seychelles which took place in January 2017.
What has Steve Bannon been up to since his falling out with Trump and his subsequent ouster from the White House? He put all of his gin-soaked shirts on at once and headed for Europe with the intention of making hate and bigotry “Made in the USA” an article of exportation.
As NBC journalist Richard Engel reported recently, Bannon’s latest project is the building-up of an academy for budding populists and right-wing ideologues whom he refers to as “modern gladiators,” supposedly fighting to protect Judeo-Christian values. The location he has chosen for the school that will run under the name of Dignitatis Humanae Institute is the Trisulti monastery about 70 miles outside of Rome. Bannon says that he will be spending about $1 million of his own money to restore and lease the 800-year-old Italian monastery for the next 19 years.
As it turns out, things may not go exactly as Steve Bannon and his allies have planned. The nationalist gladiator school project has already met with protests by locals from the nearby village who sang anti-fascist chants and signaled that they don’t want the American nationalist to take over a location that is part of their cultural heritage and a place of peaceful contemplation. Apart from that, there seem to be problems with the monastery’s lease which stipulates the operation of a museum on the historical site – a stipulation that the Dignitatis Humanae Institute apparently fails to meet.
In the meantime, while waiting for a green light on his academy of bigotry and hate, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist has gone on to publicly attack Pope Francis for being too political and “socialist” because the Pontifex has been quite vocal about the plight of refugees.
Bannon’s Italian activities have earned him the honor of getting his own trending hashtag which reads #BannonGoHome. It’s not like there aren’t any right-wing, nationalist tendencies in Italian politics and society right now, but apparently the Italians prefer to settle matters among themselves, without interference from the many-shirted American master manipulator.