Donald Trump appointed the far-right guru Steve Bannon as the administration’s chief strategist and counselor. His decision signals he has no intention to pivot into the Republican mainstream.
Steve Bannon, 62, is a self-proclaimed conservative nationalist and CEO of Breitbart News; this outlet has at times been accused of “white supremacist” and extremely misogynist views. That is in line with accusations that Trump himself has faced during the Presidential campaign.
Bannon is a former naval officer and Goldman Sachs banker. He is said to be behind campaign stunts, such as holding a press conference with the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
Breitbart is considered the premier website of the American so-called “alt-right,” which includes anti-Semites and racists according to the Anti-Defamation League watchdog. Bannon left Breitbart in August to become Trump’s campaign CEO.
Bannon’s appointment is criticized by Democrats, Republicans, Jewish, Muslim and anti-hate groups. A CNN contributor describes him as “an agitator for a virulent white nationalism that targets people of color and immigrants as criminals and spreads conspiracy theories designed to destabilize our democracy by sowing division and eroding civic trust.”
Bannon’s ex-wife told The Associated Press that her former husband did not want their daughters to attend a private school where they would have Jewish schoolmates. A spokeswoman for Bannon denied he ever said such things.
John Weaver, a campaign manager for Ohio governor John Kasich, tweeted “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America.”