Politics

Trump Picks White Nationalist As Chief Strategist

| by Michael Allen

President-elect Donald Trump named Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor on Nov. 12.

Bannon was the CEO of the last part of Trump's campaign, and the former head of Breitbart News, which, under Bannon's leadership, pushed mainstream white-nationalist and anti-Semitic stories, according to New York magazine.

Trump referred to Bannon and former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, the new chief of staff, as "highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again."

Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker, announced in July that Breitbart News is the "platform for the alt-right," a white nationalist racist movement that has grown online.

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Under Bannon's lead, Breitbart News has pushed conspiracy theories, and run headlines such as: "Bill Kristol, Renegade Jew" and "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy."

The Southern Poverty Law Center said: "Stephen Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill. Trump should rescind this hire. In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for 'all Americans.' Bannon should go."

In 2007 divorce papers, Bannon's ex-wife, Mary Louise Piccard, claimed three different incidents in which Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks while they looked at private schools for their daughters, reported NBC News.

Piccard said Bannon "went on to say the biggest problem he had with Archer [School for Girls] is the number of Jews that attend. He said that he doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews."

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Alexandra Preate, Bannon's personal spokeswoman, told NBC News in August: "At the time, Mr. Bannon never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school educations."

Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defemation League, tweeted on Nov. 13: "We at [ADL] oppose the appt of Steve Bannon to sr role at @WhiteHouse bc he & his alt-right are so hostile to core American values."

Ken Blackwell, a member of Trump's transition team, told The Wall Street Journal on Nov. 12: "Bannon is going to be keeper of the image of Trump as a fighter against the status quo, and Reince is going to utilize his personal connections with the speaker and others, to make the trains run on time."

"Make the trains run on time" is an often quoted compliment by admirers of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was an ally of Adolf Hitler in World War II.

Sources: New York, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal / Photo credit: Bloomberg Politics

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