Society

Mark Cuban Spotted With Trump Guru Steve Bannon

| by Michael Howard

Billionaire Mark Cuban was spotted in New York City having drinks with Steve Bannon, President-elect Donald Trump's controversial chief strategist, despite having endorsed former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.

Cuban and Bannon met one-on-one Nov. 22 at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel, which is located a few blocks away from Trump Tower, according to the Daily Mail.

Bannon reportedly took notes throughout their conversation. It is unknown what the two men discussed.

The meeting came as a surprise to many people considering Cuban's vehement opposition to Trump in the run-up to the election. After briefly endorsing Trump early on, Cuban changed his mind and began campaigning on behalf of Clinton, citing Trump's "complete and utter lack of preparation, knowledge and common sense."

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"When it's all said and done, I'd rather lose every penny than have Trump as president, because I care more about the future of my family, my children than I do about my pocketbook," he had said on "The Newy Scruggs Show."

At a Clinton rally one week before the election, Cuban characterized Trump as selfish and untrustworthy.

"Do you think he's got the fortitude to do the right thing?" he asked the crowd. "Do you think he cares more about you or his bank account? Can you trust Donald Trump? Absolutely not."

With that said, Cuban had only kind things to say about Bannon, whom he described as a "smart guy."

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"I know who Steve Bannon is," he said on Fox News after the third debate. "I've done business with him. He's a smart guy. He's smarter than Donald."

Bannon, who was once the executive chair of the far-right Breitbart News, has been accused of white supremacy and anti-Semitism by his opponents, leading many to question whether he's fit to serve in the White House.

In a recent interview with CTV News, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean called Bannon a "Nazi," according to CNN.

"It's a big word and I don't usually use it unless somebody's really anti-Semitic, really misogynistic, really anti-black," he said.

For his part, Bannon has denied the allegations of racism and bigotry, telling the Wall Street Journal Nov. 21 that he is an "economic nationalist" rather than a white nationalist.

"And I have admired nationalist movements throughout the world, have said repeatedly strong nations make great neighbors," he explained, according to CNN. "I've also said repeatedly that the ethno-nationalist movement, prominent in Europe, will change over time. I've never been a supporter of ethno-nationalism."

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN (2) / Photo credit: TechCrunch/Flickr

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