Steve Bannon should actually be in prison: he was sentenced to four years in prison almost two years ago for contempt of the US Congress. But the man who helped Donald Trump into the White House in 2016 has appealed and is free. Unlike his consultant colleague Peter Navarro, who was convicted for the same reason and recently began his prison sentence. So far the only one from the Trump orbit and in connection with the storming of Congress on January 6, 2021.

Steve Bannon, who was first Trump’s campaign manager and then chief advisor to the then US president, is now touring through world history as a kind of development worker for right-wing populists. Now he announced his support for the AfD in an interview with “Spiegel”: “I will publish the podcast ‘War Room’ in German,” he told the paper, although he was still looking for a German-speaking moderator.

“War Room” is one of the most successful political podcasts in the United States and is considered a mouthpiece for the ultra-right “Make America Great Again” movement (MAGA) and is a source of targeted misinformation. From 2012 to 2018, the former journalist ran the right-wing internet portal “Breitbart”, thereby making right-wing populist media socially acceptable as “alternative” media.

With his understanding of the media as “enemies of the people,” Bannon is a role model for the AfD, German political consultant Johannes Hillje recently told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.” Apparently the sympathy is mutual: The 70-year-old said in “Spiegel” that he was convinced that the party’s poll numbers could be increased to 50 to 60 percent.

Bannon also comments on German domestic policy: If Donald Trump moves back into the White House, Germany would have to drastically reduce social spending in order to be able to invest more in defense. The US would no longer guarantee Europe’s security, said Bannon: “We Americans have understood the fraud we have fallen for: You finance a great social safety net with good health insurance and pay people to retire earlier? And they American workers should pay for your defense?”

The USA will elect the next president on November 5th. Donald Trump is running for office for the third time. He is leading in the polls against his successor Joe Biden. The AfD came second behind the Union in nationwide surveys with 17 percent. According to pollsters, the party leads the party field in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg.

Sources: “Spiegel”, RealClearPolitics, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, DPA, AFP