A Trump Tower Neighbor Is the Level Man for Europe’s Populists

“I’m American to the extent I’m right here 40 years,” he mentioned in Italian-accented English. “However on the identical time I perceive Europe so much and I perceive what’s occurring.”

What’s occurring, he says, is that Mr. Trump has given hope to politicians attempting to harness populist forces, typically with the social media instruments that Mr. Lombardi himself has utilized in his capability because the administrator of Bikers for Trump and about 500 different pro-Trump Fb teams.

However Mr. Lombardi’s obvious prominence exhibits that one thing else is happening. The election of Mr. Trump, a grasp self-promoter, has imbued members of his social circle with the notion of juice that comes with proximity to energy.

Mr. Lombardi, a chief government of plausible-sounding foundations (North Atlantic League) and practiced picture bomber of officers and second-string celebrities (Frank Stallone, Kenny G), is just not letting the chance go to waste. He’s now busy explaining the evils of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to worldwide reporters, talking on a panel within the Italian Parliament (“Trump has mentioned on a couple of event that he’d like to satisfy Putin”) and inflicting a worldwide stir by escorting Ms. Le Pen to a Trump Tower cafe.

“It was form of harmless,” Mr. Lombardi mentioned of Ms. Le Pen’s January go to, as he sat subsequent to a whirring Boca Freeze tender ice cream machine within the Mar-a-Lago seashore home as Secret Service brokers lounged exterior, searching over the Atlantic.

Ms. Le Pen, in America at his invitation, he mentioned, had steered a espresso within the foyer of Mr. Trump’s constructing, the place he conceded, “there was all the time a distant chance” of seeing the then president-elect. “I mentioned,…

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