Alice Weidel, parliamentary leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, is no stranger to the dark arts of publicity. The AfD’s election campaign stood out for its racist, sexist, and Islamophobic messages. For its pre-election online offensive, it enlisted the help of Texas-based Harris Media, which worked on Donald Trump’s campaign in the Republican primaries.
Last month, the AfD said would launch its own TV newsroom in April, claiming the party was being “ignored or deliberately maligned” by Germany’s mainstream media.
Weidel has now turned for advice to Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon. According to the Deutsche Presse Agentur, Weidel met Bannon in a Zurich hotel on Tuesday—her office said she was especially interested in hearing about his experiences with political communication and alternative media.
Bannon is on a European roadshow this week. He turned up in Rome to support Matteo Salvini of the anti-immigrant Northern League during last weekend’s election. On Tuesday, he addressed a packed house at an event hosted by conservative weekly paper Weltwoche, where he was introduced by Roger Köppel, the paper’s editor-in-chief and an MP for the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.
“The populist wave in Europe is not over: it’s just getting started. History is on our side,” Bannon said to the 1,500 guests. He railed against central banks and governments and lauded cryptocurrencies as the future of people-led finance. Trump fired Bannon from the White House last year, and he was fired from his executive chairman post at Breitbart a few months later.