After Naming White Nationalist As Top Aide, Trump Installs Him On The National Security Council

President-elect Donald Trump named Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor and has recently elevated him to a permanent position on the National Security Council, an unprecedented move for a White House political operative. Bannon previously served as the Trump presidential campaign chief and before that, he was the executive chairman of the ultra-right wing website Breitbart News. Bannon’s appointment has been widely criticized across the political spectrum, primarily because of his associations with white nationalists and their views.

Bannon Described Breitbart News As ‘A Platform For The Alt-Right.’ The New York Times has described the “Alt-Right” as “a loosely organized group of mostly young men who believe in white supremacy; oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism; and delight in harassing Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable groups by spewing shocking insults on social media. To scroll through Breitbart headlines is to come upon a parallel universe where black people do nothing but commit crimes, immigrants rape native-born daughters, and feminists want to castrate all men.” According to the AP: “The ‘alt-right’ or ‘alternative right’ is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology …” [Mother Jones, 8/22/16; New York Times, 11/15/16; AP, 11/28/16]

The Southern Poverty Law Center Called Breitbart a ‘White Ethno-Nationalist Propaganda Mill.’ The SPLC vigorously opposes Bannon’s White House appointment, noting that “Under Bannon, Breitbart published a call to ‘hoist [the Confederate flag] high and fly it with pride’ only two weeks after the Charleston massacre when the country was still reeling from the horrors of the murders.” [SPLC; Twitter, 11/13/16]

Under Bannon’s Leadership, Breitbart Catered To Anti-Semitic Readers. The Intercept’s Robert Mackey noted that “under Bannon’s leadership, the site became wildly popular with anti-Semitic readers by aggressively marketing conspiracy theories about a ‘globalist’ financial and media elite of ‘puppet masters’ secretly running the world.” Other critics have pointed out a series of articles and headlines on Breitbart that they claim are anti-Semitic. [The Intercept, 11/16/16; Media Matters, 9/28/16; The Washington Post, 5/16/16]

Bannon’s Ex-Wife Claimed He ‘Doesn’t Like Jews.’ According to a sworn declaration in 2007, Bannon’s ex-wife claimed that Bannon “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.” [NBC News, 8/27/16]

Bannon Once Referred To Progressive Women As ‘A Bunch of Dykes.’ “Referring to Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin in a 2011 radio interview on Political Vindication Radio, he said: ‘These women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative. That’s why there are some unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement. That, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England. That drives the left insane, and that’s why they hate these women.'” [The New York Times, 11/14/16]

Bannon Views The American Civil War Through A White Supremacist Lens. Bannon “has referred to the Civil War as the ‘war of Southern Independence’ fought over ‘economic development.'” [The Washington Post, 8/24/16]

Bannon Is A Self-Described Leninist. Bannon once said in 2013: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” [The Daily Beast, 8/22/16]

Bannon Wants To Align the U.S. With Far-Right European Political Parties. The Washington Post reported that “an American president-elect [is] seeking to forge relationships with ultranationalist and populist factions overseas that are often sharply critical of their countries’ governments. It also raised the question of whether Trump and his representatives have been reaching out to foreign populist parties before first reaching out to foreign heads of state.” Meanwhile, according to the Daily Beast, Bannon, “is right now the direct line between the European far-right and Donald J. Trump, leader of the free world.” [The Washington Post, 11/12/16; The Daily Beast, 11/13/16]

White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, A Former KKK Leader All Praised Bannon’s White House Appointment. The American Nazi Party chair said “Perhaps The Donald IS for ‘REAL’ and is not going to be another controlled puppet directed by the usual ‘Wire Pullers,’ and does indeed intend to ROCK the BOAT? Time will tell.” Former KKK leader David Duke said “Bannon has really been right on about a lot of issues facing European-Americans,” while White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer said “‘Strategist’ is the best possible position for Steve Bannon in the Trump White House.” [CNN, 11/15/16; Media Matters, 11/14/16]

J Street And The Anti-Defamation League Oppose Bannon. “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house,’ said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. J Street said in a statement that Bannon’s “appointment to serve in such a senior White House position is alarming and unacceptable. It sends the message that the views and policy preferences of the ‘alt-right’ will be respected and taken seriously in the White House.” [ADL, 11/13/16; J Street, 11/14/16]

169 House Democrats Called On Trump To Rescind Bannon Appointment. “Disturbingly, leading white supremacists like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke, American Nazi Party Chairman Rocky J. Suhadya, Richard Spencer, Peter Brimelow, and Brad Griffin have praised the news of Mr. Bannon’s appointment. We believe it should concern you that civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, are widely opposed to Mr. Bannon’s appointment.” [Talking Points Memo, 11/16/16]

Other Prominent Democrats Have Called On Trump To Let Go of Bannon. “Steve Bannon is the executive chairman of a website that deals in anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic comments,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said. “He should have no place in a position of public trust, and I hope that the President-elect will reconsider and reverse this decision.” Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman said the Bannon pick “signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House.” [Newsweek, 11/15/16; Twitter, 11/13/16]

Conservatives Also Criticize Trump’s Ties to Bannon: ‘He Is A Terrifying Man.’ “Broad swaths of the alt-right…believe in a creed-free, race-based nationalism, insisting, among other things, that birth on American soil confers superiority. … It’s a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism,” said former Breitbart writer Ben Shapiro. A top staffer to former GOP presidential contender Gov. John Kasich tweeted, “Just to be clear news media, the next president named a racist, anti-Semite as the co-equal of the chief of staff.” Meanwhile conservative firebrand Glenn Beck said, “Bannon has a clear tie to white nationalists. Clear tie. He’s built Breitbart as a platform for the alt-right. He is on record saying that. He’s on record defining the alt-right. He knows what it is. He is a guy who wants to tear this system down and replace it with a new system. He is a frightening…no, he is a terrifying man. A terrifying man.” [The Washington Post, 8/18/16; Twitter, 11/13/16; Right Wing Watch, 11/14/16]

This post was updated on Jan. 31, 2017 to include the AP’s style guide report on the “alt-right.”

This post was updated on Feb 3, 2017 to note that Trump installed Bannon on the National Security Council. The headline has also been changed to reflect that update.

Comments 21

  1. If we do nothing to fight back, we are handing this country to white nationalists who are no different than the NAZI’s. People still haven’t woken up to the fact that it can and will happen here if we sit idly by. Have we learned nothing from NAZI Germany. These are people who not only hate everyone who is not white male Christian, but deflect blame for all their inadequacies on other people rather than themselves.

  2. With history behind us and not that far, the obvious rise of dictatorship in this presidency especially with Bannon should raise all red flags in every American’s heart.
    No country is spared nor prepared for unprecedented strategies from Nazis
    No more humiliation, slavery, racism, lynching…
    No more
    He had a dream
    We made his dream a reality with disturbances but still…
    Let’s keep the truly American dream of all for all

  3. THIS SCARY!!! Especially for those of us raising children & grandchildren!! We must repel these forces & impeach the unqualified one!! The profit-making hotels in foreign countries are clear & repeated violations of the Emoluments Clause!!! Let’s get on with it!!

  4. Trump does not understand the meaning of “American”. His definition of is dying. It exist only within his small group of White Nationalists (White Supremists). His presidency will not last. It is based on un-American values, and it will collapse under the pressure of the true American people. These people include all, and this makes us powerful.

  5. WE ThE PEOPLE Who are in the majority, reject Trumps Kakistocracy= a govt run by incompetent & unqualified ppl. Nor his pro autocracy leaning strategy for USA govt.
    Bannon has no business in the White House In any capacity! We the people will not go back 150 years!
    Bannon is a wife abuser, as well. look at police reports & court documents written on Bannon as a wife abuser who 22 yrs ago intimidated his then physically, emotionally & mentally abused young wife w twin 7 mo olds, angered into a rage b/c she made noise while feeding the children, she called 911, he grabbed & smashed the phone, beat her up, ( all in the report) but police showed up on the hung up call anyway. Bannon told his wife that he would harm her + if she went forward to court with her petition of a protective order against him for his physical & emotional abuse, not to mention child neglect. Unfortunately, Her enormous real victim fear made her leave to safety with her children, thus not showing up for the court date which resulted Bannon getting the case dismissed.
    The white extreme racist supremacist, bigot, xenophobic, mysogenist, anti Semitic unkept human being looks & acts like a uni bomber, determined to blow up USA along with his bigotry & hate.
    Red flags for 18 months!
    This is un American!
    Bannon & Trump act like Heil Hitler has come to Washington! This is not Nazi Germany,
    this is not Russia, ( tho Donalds bromance w Putin is ????)
    rather WE ARE the great United States of America!
    Never again! Never again! NEVER AGAIN!
    We & our constitution are founded on A country of mixed immigrants. Freedom of speech, with justice & Liberty for all.
    Bannon is puppeteering Trump, who doesn’t hv the attention span past 140 characters.
    Both are in serious need of mental health treatment or psychiatric care. Neither has the temperament or American values to grace our great American NOW country in any position!
    They will collapse & fail by the mite of the Greatness of WE the American People!
    Continued Scandals will abound in this WH! In Trumps famous words ” believe me, trust me”
    Trump didn’t get his degree from Wharton! Google it. Trump went to Fordham University, Bx, NY, for 2 years, his brother knew someone in the admissions office at Univ of Pennsylvania which gave some courses by Wharton. Trump graduated w a BA in Economics from U of Pa. No honors, no top of class, only more Trump delusions! No degree in finance, yet another bunch of LIES!
    They are Sick! Embarrassming! Shameful! Dangerous! Narcissits!
    Both Act like they may also have ODD=DSM 5 DX= Obstinant Defiance Disorder
    Both manboys are Everything responsible good parents teach our children NOT to behave like,
    rather we teach children to be civil, kind, compassionate, empathetic, own up, no lying, responsible human beings.
    These Bullies have low self esteem!
    I’m having flashbacks to a Nixonian con artist & criminal.
    Trump & Bannon are the swamp! Their cabinet is the muddiest swamp mixed with quick sand.
    Both hv fooled the average American public who are desperate for the help they need.
    Most Jobs have left USA due to technology & greed.
    Both manboys are against increasing the ridiculous minimum wage. TRUMP/BANNON YOU live on $5 take home/ hr!!!
    Both couldn’t survive on a minimum wage for 1 appetizer lest a meal!
    The Donald & his Trumpettes including Ivanka are not American job providers.
    All their products are produced in China, Japan, Bangladesh, etc, out of USA! Hypocrites!
    The Billionaires in all their cabinet positions know & care nothing about Americans who need help.
    Both couldn’t care less about them! Rather to implode every agency put in place for our American safety for their greed & their personal gain!
    Trump is a sexual predator who uses tic tacs & abuse of power/fame to assault his victims! See video.
    I’m surprised Donald hasn’t demanded that Bannon physically clean himself up with a dark suit & tie.
    Shave his face! Comb his hair. Put makeup on his Red WC Fields nose! Perhaps incapable of a White supremacist.
    Bannon is the only person trump may listen to when Bannon says “no” or perpetuates yet another lie.
    No Winning America, rather losing losing losing big time!
    ‘President’ Bannon is running the co-hate show along with Trump. Both Ran on Hate & Fear!
    No Discipline, no talent! No morals! No American values! No Empathy! Rather Unhinged ppl!
    No self confident American would work under this lowest polls support administration (in the 30%.)
    Without risking ruining their careers!
    IMPEACH the whole lot of serial liars- trump,Bannon, kellyanne,jarred,Ivanka, reince, Miller etc …..!
    The multiple lawsuits & Investigations will reveal the evidence that will take them down.
    The necessary leaks will reveal the alleged conflicts of interest, alleged collusion, alleged criminal activity.
    The Wizard of Oz was the Fraudster that are Trump & Bannon Behind the gold curtains of lies!!
    G-d Bless America & our Values! G-d bless our Statue of Liberty.
    We the people are still here! We Will survive this travesty of candidate Trump/Bannon WH.
    America was ALWAYS GREAT, sure we need tweaking & progressive improvements.
    White supremacy is not Making America great again ( what does that mean anyway???)
    It makes America Lose, it’s un American! There is a history of ebb & flow of highs & lows..
    We have weathered democracy for 3 centuries. WE will weather this lowest of lows!
    Hate & Bigots will not be tolerated by the masses of The American People!
    WE THE PEOPLE & our great CONStITUTIONu will prevail in due time!

  6. I am 85 years old and have never been this frightened. What have we done? Installed our own Mussolini in the White House? REPUBLICAN SENATORS,WAKE UP! Save your Constitution- it dosen’t allow for religious bigotry OR white supremacy. Join the battle to rid your President of Bannon! And, if you still value Mr. Trump, join the effort to have your President’s connection with Vladimir Putin thoroughly investigated, as well as his conflicts of interest. You are there to protect our right to live in religious freedom and our right to justice, whatever our color happens to be. Our country needs your honest vigilance!

  7. Faith, well written, well said. I can only add that the congress & the senate are do nothings. Bannon like
    Trump have documented proof re their misdeeds & rants. Yet nothing is done. Why is it that we the people
    are aware & informed? To stay quiet & do nothing & wait for the dawn to break will be like history has taught us, disasterous, too late. Hitler was mental & yet he came in to power. Remember he is the commander in
    chief of our millitary.

  8. Sounds to me like Steve Bannon is a Satanist since he has said things like: “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.” Is there a brave jounalist out there prepared to investigate this person’s possible Satanic cult connections?

    1. When it sounds like evil, smells like evil, feels like evil, it may just truly be evil. As others have said bringing Bannon’s ideology and politics into the White House is not only dangerous but criminal to our democratic system. Those who founded our nation and crafted our government were wise to declare “We the People …” must be vigilant to recognize those who would tear apart our system of government. Already the White House has eliminated mention of the Judicial branch of government on the White House website. Already well veted elected and appointed justices have been maligned. Already the free press has been declared the enemy of the people. What and who is next to be maligned and undermined? President Trump has promised to “drain the swamp”. My fear is that he will throw the baby out with the bathwater. Then what shall future generations inherit? We all need to pray that this administration is rightly challenged by those of us who are opposed to racism, sexism, white nationalism, homophobism and anti-semitic and anti-Muslim agendas.

  9. I agree and I wish that Republicans would wake up and own up to what they have done, which is make the biggest mistake of their lives just because they so desperately wanted control.

    Well here’s what your mistake has come to and unless you’re willing to allow Putin to run the US and believe that he is the one who will “make America great again” then you need to make it known that this has gone far enough!

    It’s not enough to say that we will not accept that Trump is going to demolish our government and then our society and that its going to take care of itself. No, it’s time for us to say that this cannot happen. That we will NOT stand for it. Both parties, side by side must stand together and do what we know has to be done.

    Impeach Trump, Pence and then turn to our Constitution for guidence and do what must be done the proper way, the Constitutional way. I believe that most Americans have seen and had enough to make an informed opinion on this and I cannot believe that the country I was born in would allow our government to be run by Russia, or be dictated to by a Czar.

    Our Constitution begins with “We The People of The United States of America” for a reason, and that reason is not for us to allow our government to be overrun by White Supremacy and idiots. Trump calls everyone and everything he doesn’t like liars and lies. Even the only news agencies that have been on the air in our country and covering the political process since way before he was even thought about. It’s disgusting how he can just say these things about the only news agencies that are consistently committed to covering all news with objectivity and the only news agency proven to be committed to the right is considered the only “real” news agency. They’ve been around for a few decades. But the conservative right is only committed to them. Pathetic.

    It’s past time for this to stop. This entire soap opera has to stop. Or nightmare, whichever you prefer to see it as. But I understand your fear. I had so much fear and I still do sometimes, but I just can’t believe that this country can allow this injustice to continue with the proper checks and balances in place that exist to stop exactly this kind of injustice. It’s not legal and it’s up to us to make sure that our leaders in Washington know what we want and that they must carry out our wishes. If they don’t, then we must be sure that we elect the people who will always be willing to do the right thing for the people they represent.

    We do have the power to stop this if they don’t with our next vote for our Congressional Members and we have to be willing to make those changes and stand up to the power that they refuse to. Corruption has no place in our government and Republicans have been using corruption for too long.

    Even shutting down our government is corrupt! This should have never gone this far and honestly, it’s not just their fault that we’re in the situation we’re in right now. By not electing the officials who will stand up for our true best interests we have allowed this to happen. Sad but true. It’s very hard to say that but it’s something that Democrats have worked hard to stop, but have had to stand by and watch in disbelief.

    The good news is that we can end this before it becomes too deeply rooted within our government and our society.

  10. Given all the comments Bannon has made regarding destroying our government, it smells like TREASON to me.

  11. Theses people should be removed from office now! What’s wrong with congress?
    Get them out!!!
    Jim D.
    Sarasota FL

  12. Have we been so thoroughly conned, bamboozled and cowed that we are paralyzed. Everyone is TALKING about the horrible state of our leadership (III F you can call it that) but no one is DOING anything about it. Not the spineless Republicans who’ve lined up to kiss Trump’s sorry ass or the leaderless Democratic party that continues to wring its hands and piss and moan about Hillary’s defeat. Reality check: she was a weak candidate and failed to motivate her base. Water under the bridge; we’ve got work to do. Let’s grow a pair and show this would be dictator what REAL opposition is. The GOP Tea Party made a great President’s job twice as hard and he achieved phenomenal success in spite of them. Let’s give them a taste of their own medicine. To quote Thomas Jefferson (even though he was a slave owner) “When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty.”

  13. Treason has been committed by Trump Pence Comey Guiliani Gingrich Bannon McConnell Ryan and the list goes on because they are guilty by association and by allowing Trump and Pence to be sworn in.

    Putin compromised Trump back in the late 90s. Trump could NOT borrow money from US banks so Putin invited Trump to Russia and set him up with Alta Bank and the fix was in from there.

    Then comes the 2016 election and Putin hacks the Republican National Committee way before they hacked the DNC. Putin had/has every piece of dirt and slime on every Republican and he used it to get Trump nominated and elected. Trump’s now using it to DESTROY our Constitution and it is 4 months past time to rid our country of Trump and his ENTIRE group of white supremecist, Russia-approved, narcissistic, morons and put them in GITMO or Fort Leavenworth for 25 to 50 years.

    If they don’t choose to go to prison they may choose the firing squad.

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