Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MASTERBAKER, Feb 2, 2017.
Christiane Amanpour has some words for Steve Bannon:
How To Get Away With White Supremacy In Trump's White House
Stephen Bannon: White Supremacist Or Just #1 Fan Of White Supremacists?
Blog ››› 4 hours 53 min ago ››› JOHN WHITEHOUSE
With the appointment of former Breitbart chief Stephen Bannon as a permanent member of President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, white nationalist forces in America have achieved what Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson could only dream of: a revanchist, retrograde ethno-nationalist at the highest levels of the United States government.
You might think this would be a major news story, but instead the focus has been more parochial, largely focused on the extremism of Breitbart.com under Bannon. And indeed, the website was extreme.
But the driver of Breitbart is not its focus on or use of verboten topics or words. Breitbart is driven by the horde of white supremacists and misogynists who frequent the site. Don’t take my word for it. Take it from Stephen Bannon himself. In late December, Bannon told Breitbart radio, “The best thing we ever had was both the comments section at Breitbart and the callers, the great audience we’ve got here at SiriusXM, to call and share every day what their feelings were.” He reiterated the importance of the “intensity in the comments” later in the interview.
There is no ambiguity about which commenters Brannon was referencing. He bragged to Mother Jones at the Republican National Convention in August that Breitbart was “the platform for the alt-right.” And the “alt-right” loves Bannon back. Former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro said that “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with [editor Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers” (emphasis added). Beyond Yiannopoulos, Breitbart has also hired white nationalists as reporters. Shapiro said the “alt-right” is “shot through with racism and anti-Semitism” and explained the connection with Breitbart at length:
I’d heard, of course, that the some (sic) of Breitbart’s comment sections had been occupied over previous months by a motley collection of white supremacists and anti-Semites (I generally never check the comments). I’d certainly felt their online wrath, accused by alt-righters of being an anti-Trump “cuck” — accusations that came with memes of gas chambers and “shekelmeister” cartoons that could have come directly from Der Stürmer. Such material flowed into my inbox and Twitter feed. That flow escalated dramatically after I declared that I would not support Trump, and it escalated again after I left Breitbart over its attempts to smear its own reporter, Michelle Fields, in order to shield then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski against charges that he’d yanked her by the arm at a campaign event.
But it wasn’t until March 29 that Breitbart’s full embrace of the alt-right became clear. That’s the day the site featured Yiannopoulos’s lengthy piece glorifying the alt-right. Yiannopoulos had already given interviews in which he stated that “Jews run the banks” and “Jews run the media,” dismissing anti-Semitic memes as merely “mischievous, dissident, trolly.” He wrote, along with co-author Allum Bokhari, this insane sentence: “There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence.”
And this is the cast of characters, and their enablers, to whom Trump has turned.
White nationalists and white supremacists were overjoyed when Trump appointed Bannon as his chief strategist. Former KKK grand wizard David Duke told CNN, "You have an individual, Mr. Bannon, who's basically creating the ideological aspects of where we're going." Duke added on his radio show that Bannon had “been right on about a lot of the issues facing European Americans.” A neo-Nazi website described Bannon’s White House position as “pure awesomeness.” Richard Spencer, the Nazi who was punched during inauguration weekend, lauded Bannon’s ability to chart Trump’s “macro trajectory.” Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement,” referring to the German filmmaker who made propaganda films for the Nazis.
And yet the mainstream media is still insistent upon protecting Stephen Bannon’s reputation. NPR’s deferential interview with Breitbart editor Joel Pollak was a signal of what was to come. After House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) twice called Bannon a “white supremacist,” mainstream figures rushed to his defense.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren, The New York Times’ Nick Confessore literally scoffed at the idea of Bannon as a white supremacist:
Scott Pelley on CBS Evening News described Bannon as “controversial” and said that CBS Evening News could not find “any quotes from Bannon himself advocating white supremacy.”
Stephen Bannon spent years empowering white supremacists and publishing a white nationalist website, and his ex-wife even swore in court that “he said he doesn’t like Jews” and didn’t want his children to go to “school with Jews.” And yet, mainstream media give him a pass because he has enough sense to not say anything in public that explicitly reveals white supremacist views. This is narrowing the definition of white supremacy to just the cartoonish, David Duke version. Bannon’s longest description of his own worldview described an apocalyptic clash of civilizations, even invoking the siege of Vienna in 1529.
From a perspective — this may be a little more militant than others. I think definitely you’re going to need an aspect that is [unintelligible]. I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam. And I realize there are other aspects that are not as militant and not as aggressive and that’s fine.
If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam, I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing. I think they kept it out of the world, whether it was at Vienna, or Tours, or other places… It bequeathed to use the great institution that is the church of the West.
Because it is a crisis, and it’s not going away. You don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is read the news every day, see what’s coming up, see what they’re putting on Twitter, what they’re putting on Facebook, see what’s on CNN, what’s on BBC. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions. It’s very easy to play to our baser instincts, and we can’t do that. But our forefathers didn’t do it either. And they were able to stave this off, and they were able to defeat it, and they were able to bequeath to us a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind, so I think it’s incumbent on all of us to do what I call a gut check, to really think about what our role is in this battle that’s before us.
The “alt-right” is counting on the media using only the cartoonish definition of white supremacy and white nationalism. Its adherents take advantage of the hesitancy of mainstream media and establishment figures to call out connections between Bannon and white supremacy. The “alt-right” is self-organizing and aims to protect the reputation of their allies.
BuzzFeed gained access to secret chat rooms in France and documented Trump supporter’ efforts to manipulate the conversation to favor the “alt-right” by making far-right Marine Le Pen supporters appear to be the most reasonable political group. Trump supporters in America are undeniably using the same tactics.
It’s more than fine if news outlets want to fact-check statements made about the chief strategist to the president of the United States. But it would be nice if they also gave a little more scrutiny to what, exactly, he is planning for America’s future.
Body language experts dissect moment Trump strategist Steve Bannon intimately pats Reince Priebus
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017, 11:57 PM
a rocky relationship between the two Trump administration officials, who personify the newfound polar opposites of the Republican Party: Bannon's right-wing populism and Priebus' establishment conservatism.
When they sat down for a joint interview atthe Conservative Political Action Conferenceoutside Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, that divide appeared to take the form of bodily cues — particularly during the very final moments of the back-and-forth.
"Reince has been unwavering since the very first moment I met him," Bannon said before interviewer Matt Schlapp wrapped up the chat.
Steve Bannon says 'globalist media' will stay 'opposed' to Trump
Then, in a brief display of affection, Bannon patted Priebus' right thigh several times. But the touch apparently didn't sit well with Priebus, who flinched and hastily pushed his White House colleague's hand away.
Georgia-based body language expert Patti Wood told the Daily News that Bannon's comment, and touching, unveils a number of things about his perceived dominance over Priebus.
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon sat down for a joint interview with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Thursday.
(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA)
"I don't know their working relationship, but Priebus didn't like that the statement implied intimacy," Wood said, noting Priebus looked down and turned away immediately after Bannon's compliment. "He wanted to separate himself from that statement."
The subsequent touch, Wood continued, "has a sexual feel to it" — which Priebus was "obviously repelled by."
Priebus and Bannon insist there is no division between them
"He doesn't want that touch to linger at all," Wood said. "It shows irritation … The pressed together lips and the downturned eyes suppresses his anger."
Bannon, on the other hand, stayed confident and even appeared to lean in a bit, revealing the former Breitbart News chief's confident control of the situation, according to Wood.
"He was rebuked like that and stayed planted forward, that to me is the most revealing about Bannon's character," Wood said. "The man is going to stay and not back down no matter what."
Several reports have described a rocky relationship between the two top White House officials.
(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA)
But fellow body language expert Lillian Glass disagreed with Wood's analysis, telling The News that the two men are just engaging in a President Trump-esque moment of intimacy.
Trump upset over SNL portrayal of Bannon as Grim Reaper: report
"They're part of that Trump affection, physical, 'hey, I'm not afraid to let my emotions out,' " Glass said. "When Trump likes you, he touches you and these guys are following suit."
Priebus' apparent striking at Bannon's hand was actually just a complimentary pat, Glass claimed.
"When you watch it, it's a very kind of warm thing," she added.
But there was one body language cue that both men appeared to be engaging in throughout the 30-minute interview that displayed discomfort, Glass conceded.
"Look at where their hands are — they're covering their private parts, that means they feel very vulnerable," she said.
During his political rise, Stephen K. Bannon was a man with no fixed address
By Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg March 11
Stephen Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 23. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency.
No presidential adviser in recent memory has followed such a mysterious, peripatetic path to the White House. It was as though he was a man with no fixed address.
He owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife.
Meet Stephen Bannon, Trump's chief White House strategist
Here's what you need to know about the man who went from Breitbart News chairman to Donald Trump's campaign CEO before his appointment as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart’s townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
Bannon told a friend that year he was living in multiple cities, including Washington, New York, London and Miami, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.
The issue of Bannon’s legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump’s campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state’s lack of state income taxes.
In California, where Bannon had lived and owned property for more than two decades, income tax can exceed 12 percent.
Bannon has not responded to repeated requests by The Washington Post to discuss the matter. Two Post reporters sought to independently verify his residency claims, using a wide array of publicly available information.
They obtained utility bills, court records, real estate transactions, state driver reports and the checks he wrote to pay municipal taxes in California. They interviewed neighbors, spoke with landlords and tracked his Breitbart-related activity.
In the digital age, when most Americans leave a clear footprint of their whereabouts, Bannon left a meandering trail filled with ambiguity, contradictions and questions. The Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.
Bannon’s former wife occupied the premises, according to a landlord and neighbors.
At the same time Bannon said he was living with his ex-wife, she was under investigation for involvement in a plot to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a Miami jail, a law enforcement document obtained by The Post shows.
The Post learned that state prosecutors in Miami have an active investigation into Bannon’s assertions that he was a Florida resident and qualified to vote in the state from 2014 to 2016. In late August, investigators subpoenaed Bannon’s lease of a Coconut Grove home and other documents. They also contacted the landlords of that home and another that Bannon leased nearby, and sought information from a gardener and handyman who worked at one of the homes, according to documents and interviews.
Because state laws do not clearly define residency, making a false registration case can be difficult.
Bannon is seen as President Trump meets with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 23. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
A former investment banker and Hollywood producer, Bannon lived in California when he took a turn toward politics nearly a decade ago.
He had a condo in Los Angeles and a house just to the south in Laguna Beach, in Orange County. In 2010, he told Orange County election officials that he wanted to become a “permanent absentee voter” and have all ballots mailed to his Laguna Beach home.
In 2011, Bannon produced and directed a political documentary about Sarah Palin for the Victory Film Project, a company in Sarasota, Fla. He is listed as a manager of the company in Florida corporate records.
In March 2012, with the death of founder Andrew Breitbart, Bannon became executive chairman of the Los Angeles-based Breitbart News, which was expanding its operations to Washington.
Bannon was still a resident of California, records show. In the November 2012 elections, he voted in Orange County by absentee ballot. That same month, he renewed his California driver’s license for five years.
But in his subsequent travels across the country, his living situation became more complicated. The details gathered by The Post create uncertainty about where exactly he was spending the bulk of his time.
On Feb. 9, 2013, Bannon and Diane Clohesy, his former third wife, signed a lease application for a three-bedroom house on Opechee Drive in a lush Miami neighborhood with palm trees and Spanish-style homes.
Bannon signed as “applicant,” and Clohesy signed as “applicant’s spouse.”
The two were married in 2006, when Bannon was 53 and Clohesy was 36. They divorced in California in 2009. She had moved to Florida in 2008, “starting a new life in Miami,” Bannon said in court papers during the divorce. But the two remained in touch, and she worked on three political documentaries he directed in 2011 and 2012.
Bannon told his new landlords that he would be splitting his time between California and Florida, according to interviews The Post conducted with the property owners. Bannon and Clohesy both signed the two-year lease, records show.
The lease application said Bannon was “relocating from California.” But Devin Kammerer, the real estate agent who represented Bannon and Clohesy, said he never met Bannon in person, and only sent him listings by email.
“It was Diane who made the decisions about where she wanted to be, and she’d send over listings to Steve for his approval,” Kammerer said. “Diane was very clear on what she wanted.”
The $4,900 monthly rent was a big jump for Clohesy, who declared on the lease application that her most recent apartment had cost her $950 a month, documents show. But by his own account, Bannon could afford it.
(Obtained by The Washington Post)
He stated on the application that he earned $750,000 a year as chairman of Breitbart News Network, a figure that has not been previously reported. He also earned $270,000 as executive chairman of Arc Entertainment, a film distribution company based in Santa Monica, Calif.
In addition, Bannon received about $100,000 in salary that year as part-time chairman of the Government Accountability Institute, a new nonprofit charity in Tallahassee, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Bannon, two Breitbart writers and other conservative activists had launched the organization a year earlier and it produced reports and books that were promoted by Breitbart. Bannon claimed he worked 30 hours a week at GAI, according to IRS filings.
Just weeks after signing the Opechee Drive lease, Bannon launched “Breitbart News Sunday with Stephen K. Bannon,” a three-hour program broadcast live Sunday nights from SiriusXM studios in Washington.
In May 2013, Bannon opened an account in his name for municipal sewer and water service at the Opechee Drive residence, documents show.
The utility account is one of the few public indications of Bannon’s presence in Florida. But Bannon told utility officials to mail the bills to the office of his business manager on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, Calif., according to documents obtained through Florida public records laws.
Four neighbors told The Post they do not recall seeing Bannon at the house.
“I never saw him,” said Steven Chastain, who lived a few doors away on a nearby street.
“He wasn’t living there,” said Barbara Pope, a longtime resident who often walked her dog on Opechee Drive. “I would have recognized him.”
At the time Bannon was sharing the lease with Clohesy in Opechee, she was apparently involved with another man. Neighbors said they repeatedly saw a man they could not identify at the house.
She filed for a restraining order against Jose A. Cabana in 2012. He filed one against her in May 2013, court records show. She was granted a two-year injunction against him and his complaint was dropped after he failed to appear in court. Cabana was charged with cocaine distribution in November 2013 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He could not be reached for comment.
In October 2013, Clohesy became ensnared in an undercover investigation of a jail guard suspected of smuggling drugs and other contraband to another man, a friend of hers in the Miami-Dade County Pre-trial Detention Center, according to an arrest warrant for the jail guard first reported by the the Miami New Times.
Investigators eavesdropping on a phone call between Clohesy and the inmate heard them arrange for her to deliver a “pop tart” — code for a cellphone — along with several ounces of marijuana to a prison guard, the warrant said. Clohesy, who was under surveillance, later met with the guard in a parking lot and handed over the marijuana, the phone and $700 in cash, the warrant said.
Clohesy was confronted by authorities and agreed to cooperate. She told investigators she had known the inmate for more than a year and “maintained a relationship with him through jail visits, correspondence and telephone conversations.”
Efforts to reach Clohesy were unsuccessful. Her brother, Declan, provided The Post with a statement Friday that Bannon had provided “emotional or financial support” to help her recover from drug addiction and depression.
“Steve is a caring and compassionate man and Diane is blessed to still have him in her life,” the statement said. “We appreciate the media respecting my sister’s privacy at this early stage of her recovery.”
Neighbors of the Opechee Drive home said they remember Clohesy vividly, in part because she had a steady stream of visitors, some of them disruptive. Four neighbors told The Post that they had a community meeting with police to complain about noise at the house and cars speeding from the premises at late hours.
Police records show that officers went to the Opechee address at least three times over several months in 2014. The officers were responding to reports about disturbances, including loud music. In one case, a woman at the home called police around midnight to express fears about an ex-boyfriend who was shining a bright light into the windows. Her name is redacted in the report.
Beatriz Portela, a real estate agent who represented the Opechee landlords, said she also received a call and text messages from neighbors who were anxious about troubling incidents at the house, including speeding vehicles and a car crash. “They were super upset,” Portela said.
(Obtained by The Washington Post)
A roving life
On April 2, 2014, more than a year after Bannon signed the lease on the residence in Coconut Grove, he registered to vote in Florida and listed the Opechee Drive address as his legal home. Bannon did not have to show an ID to register. He provided the last four digits of his Social Security number to verify his identity.
One of the allures of Florida is its zero income tax rate for in-state residents. The Post was unable to determine what state Bannon claimed as his primary residence for the purpose of income tax.
Accountants advise people who work in multiple states to carefully document the number of nights they spend in Florida and maintain records of travel, housing, even of meals. Registering to vote is considered one indication of residency, as is a driver’s license. Under state law, new residents must apply for a license within 30 days if they intend to operate a vehicle.
Phillip Sroka, a partner at the accounting firm of Morrison, Brown, Argiz and Farra in Miami, said he advises clients who split their time in multiple states to take care to document their presence in Florida for more than six months. That includes airline tickets, restaurant receipts and utility bills.
In an interview with The Post, Sroka said suspicions are raised when individuals have their bills sent outside the states where they claim their residences.
“It gets a little sketchy when you accept employment elsewhere,” he said. “Where it gets a little on the line and subject to interpretation is where you have a lot of other business dealings elsewhere.”
As 2015 approached, Bannon continued his roving life. He rented out his Laguna Beach home and, in January 2015, bought a townhouse as a second home in Pinehurst, N.C. The deed lists Bannon’s mailing address at his money manager’s office in Beverly Hills.
On Feb. 18, 2015, Bannon ended the water and sewer service at Opechee Drive and switched the service to Onaway Drive, less than a half mile away in Coconut Grove, records show. Five days later, Bannon changed his voter registration to Onaway Drive.
Bannon was registered to vote at this house on Onaway Drive in Miami from February 2015 to August 2016. (Obtained by The Washington Post)
The Opechee house was left in disrepair, according to an email between the landlord and Bannon and interviews with the landlord.
Padlocks had been placed on interior doors — or the doors had been removed altogether. A hot tub was destroyed.
“[E]ntire Jacuzzi bathtub seems to have been covered in acid,” the landlord wrote in the February 2015 email to Bannon.
“I’m out of town,” Bannon replied. “is there any way u can talk with Diane and sort things out ???”
The damage was estimated at more than $14,000, according to an accounting by the landlords, who kept the $9,800 security deposit from Bannon and Clohesy.
Kammerer, their real estate agent, said he was troubled by the damage.
“I would not work with them after that,” he said. “I would not refer them again as clients of mine.”
Around this time, Bannon was becoming a fixture at the Breitbart News townhouse location in Washington, nicknamed “the Breitbart Embassy,” hosting parties, meeting with journalists and staying overnight.
In a Bloomberg Businessweek profile in October 2015, a reporter described interviewing Bannon multiple times in January and February at the Breitbart townhouse in Washington.
The article, headlined “This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America,” described the building as a “14-room townhouse that [Bannon] occupies.”
“Ordinarily Bannon’s townhouse is crypt-quiet and feels like a museum, as it’s faithfully decorated down to its embroidered silk curtains and painted murals in authentic Lincoln-era details,” the article said.
Bannon hosts New Hampshire primary coverage on the radio from Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 8, 2016. (Paul Marotta/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
On Oct. 26, 2015, SiriusXM announced that Bannon’s weekend radio show would expand its live broadcasts to weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. from studios in Washington and New York. Donald Trump was a guest on the inaugural show Nov. 2.
Five months later, Bannon shut off sewer and water service at the Onaway address in Miami. The house remained uninhabited for months.
Three neighbors interviewed by The Post said they were confident Bannon had not lived at the home.
“I often saw Diane,” said Joseph “J.L.” Plummer, a prominent Miami resident who lived next door and was a city commissioner for nearly 30 years. “I never saw him.”
In mid-August, Bannon became chief executive of the Trump campaign. As he was assuming control, Bannon changed the address on his Florida voter registration records. On Aug. 19, he signed an oath that he now lived at the home of a longtime business associate in Nokomis, Fla., in Sarasota County.
The questions about Bannon’s residency emerged Aug. 26, when the Guardian wrote that Bannon had been registered to vote at a vacant house — the Onaway address in Miami.
The local NBC station in Miami reported that the state attorney’s office had requested Bannon’s voter records from county election officials.
At least two people filed complaints about Bannon with the Florida Department of State, claiming he had committed voter fraud by asserting he was a resident, documents show. In October, the department said the complaints did not merit an investigation.
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That month, Bannon registered to vote in New York from a Manhattan condo overlooking Bryant Park and later cast an absentee ballot in the presidential election. Because he was registered in two places, he was later removed from Florida’s voter rolls.
Under Florida law, it is a third-degree felony to provide false information on a voter registration application. It is punishable by up to five years in prison. First-time offenders are rarely given more than probation, something that could also lead to the loss of a security clearance.
Officials from the State Attorney’s Office for Miami-Dade County, which is led by an elected Democrat, declined to provide details about their probe into Bannon’s residency claim. In denying a Post request for documents about the investigation, officials cited confidentiality rules for “active criminal investigative information.”
Spokesman Ed Griffith said, “At this point it is not over.”
But proving wrongdoing in Bannon’s case could be difficult because state law does not clearly define residency, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Scarborough: Bannon is the real president
MSNBC [Conservative] host Joe Scarborough on Friday blamed White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon for President Trump's decision to back out of the Paris climate accord, saying that the move signals that Bannon "is now the president of the United States."
"Time Magazine was right. Steve Bannon is president of the United States," Scarborough said on his show "Morning Joe."
Donald Trump doesn't know anything about politics; Donald Trump doesn't know anything about anything," he said.
Trump's announcement on Thursday that the U.S. would withdraw from the 195-nation climate agreement fulfilled a key promise of his "America first" agenda and marked his most drastic effort yet to unravel former President Obama's environmental policies.
But critics have blasted the decision as an abdication of U.S. leadership, arguing that, by withdrawing from the pact, the U.S. is simultaneously withdrawing from its role as global standard-bearer.
For his part, Bannon has called himself an "economic nationalist" and is a professed opponent of globalization and the "administrative state." He is considered a key player in influencing and implementing Trump's policy agenda and was among the group of administration officials to lobby the president to leave the climate deal.
Time Magazine featured the chief strategist and former Breitbart News executive on the cover of its February issue, labeling him "the great manipulator" and including a feature story titled "Is Steve Bannon the Second Most Powerful Man in the world?
Scarborough fingers Bannon as leaker: He’s been
‘bragging’ he would sideline Kushner on Russia
Bannon is an unapologetic racist white supremacist, & KKK sympathizer in an ill-fitted suit.
That truth being said, Bannon self-describes himself as Vladimir Lenin
Steve Bannon: “Vladimir 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.”
Drumpf's Moronic "They-Killing-Themselves-With-Opioids & Meth" Voters
Bannon "Crapping Diamonds"
As House Calls Campaign Digital Director To Testify In Russia Probe
A GOP strategist named Rick Wilson tweeted Friday, “A little bird tells me that a certain White House staff member whose name rhymes with Beeve Stannon is crapping diamonds over Parscale.” Steve Bannon has every reason to be so nervous over Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale being called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, which is very interested in how Russian bots targeted political messages in critical swing states, and Parscale is the man to ask.
Parscale played a critical role in the Trump campaign, directing online spending and voter targeting. Parscale was in charge of a highly sophisticated data bank built and paid for by the Republican National Committee. More details on this story and how it could blow the Trump Russia investigation wide open from CNN:
House Russia investigators are planning to call on Brad Parscale, the digital director of President Donald Trump's campaign, as the congressional and federal probes dig into any possible connections between the Trump digital operation and Russian operatives, congressional sources said this week.
The House Russia investigation is planning to send an invite to Parscale soon, as they begin scheduling witnesses over the summer, sources said. The Senate intelligence committee is also interested in how Russian bots were able to target political messages in specific districts in critical swing states, although it is not clear if Parscale will be called before the Senate panel as well.
The news from the House comes as federal investigators have dug into Jared Kushner's role overseeing Trump's data operation -- although he has not been identified as a target of the probe. Kushner is expected to talk soon with Senate investigators about the campaign's data operation.
Senate investigators in particular have been interested in looking for a link between the prevalence of fake news that supported Trump and was pinpointed in key areas of Rust Belt states that ultimately flipped from blue to red -- and helped Trump secure the White House.
Part of the story from CNN reveals that Russian bots were in fact masquerading as conservative Christian voters and using that disguise to appear to be just one of the gang and telling the rest of the gang how it should vote for Donald Trump and why. Read what a former FBI agent has to say about that:
Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and counterterrorism expert, responded that Russian bots masqueraded as conservative voters to support Trump -- but did not say whether he believed the Russians had any help from an American political operative in picking out their targets.
"Part of the reason those bios had conservative Christian, you know, America, all those terms in it is those are the most common ones. If you inhale all the accounts of people in Wisconsin, you identify the most common terms in it, you just recreate accounts that look exactly like people from Wisconsin," Watts testified. "So that way whenever you're trying to socially engineer them and convince them that the information is true it's much more simple because you see somebody and they look exactly like you even down to the pictures. When you look at the pictures, it looks like an American from the Midwest or the South or Wisconsin or whatever the location is. And they will change those, they can reprogram them."
Lying, planting fake news stories and pulling emotional triggers has never been so creative — nor so effective. Who is Brad Parscale? He was not only the digital director of the Trump campaign he was also Trump's “ghost tweeter,” just as Tony Schwartz was Trump's "ghostwriter" for "Art of the Deal," and Schwartz wrote every single word. Similarly, it is no coincidence that the most cogent and destructive tweets emanating from Trump's twitter account were in fact authored by Parscale. The arm of the Russian connection is long and it reaches deep. Bloomberg reports on the night of the third debate in Las Vegas:
Parscale is one of the few within Trump’s crew entrusted to tweet on his behalf. He’s sitting at a long table in a double-wide trailer behind the debate arena, cheek to jowl with his fellow Trump staffers and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. The charged atmosphere and rows of technicians staring raptly at giant TVs and computer screens call to mind NASA on launch day. On the wall, a poster of Julian Assange reads: “Dear Hillary, I miss reading your classified emails.”
10:02 p.m.: Trump, onstage, criticizes Hillary Clinton for accepting foreign money. “Fire it off!” Parscale barks. Instantly, a new Trump tweet appears: “Crooked @HillaryClinton’s foundation is a CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. Time to #DrainTheSwamp!”
10:04 p.m.: Trump blames Clinton for $6 billion that went missing during her tenure at the State Department (actually a bookkeeping error). “Hit that hard,” shouts Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser. Parscale already has: “Crooked’s top aides were MIRED in massive conflicts of interest at the State Dept. WE MUST #DrainTheSwamp.
When the debate wraps, Parscale leaps up, open laptop still in hand, and bolts from the trailer with Priebus and the rest of the senior staff to congratulate Trump as he comes off the stage. In the wings, Parscale joins Steve Bannon, Trump’s Machiavelli and campaign chairman, on leave from Breitbart News Network; Dan Scavino Jr., his social media director; and a clutch of Trump children and their spouses, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whom Parscale considers nearly a brother.
But after Trump locked down the GOP nomination by winning Indiana’s primary, Kushner tapped Parscale, a political novice who built web pages for the Trump family’s business and charities, to begin an ambitious digital operation fashioned around a database they named Project Alamo. With Trump atop the GOP ticket, Kushner was eager to grow fast. “When we won the nomination, we decided we were going to do digital fundraising and really ramp this thing up to the next level,” says a senior official. Kushner, this official continued, “reached out to some Silicon Valley people who are kind of covert Trump fans and experts in digital marketing. They taught us about scaling. There’s really not that much of a difference between politics and regular marketing.
Politics makes for some interesting applications of digital media and marketing, and digital media and the marketing of ideas can and clearly do influence elections. Those are the underlying precepts that doubtlessly attracted Robert Mercer to use Cambridge Analytica's data to influence Brexit, an allegation Mercer resoundingly denies and now he’s suing The Guardian for daring to report the facts:
Cambridge Analytica, a U.S. data analytics firm backed by Robert Mercer, and its British affiliate, SCL Elections Limited, have threatened to sue The Guardian following a series of articles investigating links between the conservative billionaire and last year’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
On Wednesday, The Guardian informed staff that the firms had threatened legal action and it added a disclaimer to more than a half-dozen articles and editorials, including “Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media” and “Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit” from February and this month’s “The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked.”
Here's a small snip from “Revealed: How U.S. billionaire helped to back Brexit.” Warning, deja vu trigger:
Cambridge Analytica, an offshoot of a British company, SCL Group, which has 25 years’ experience in military disinformation campaigns and “election management”, claims to use cutting-edge technology to build intimate psychometric profiles of voters to find and target their emotional triggers. Trump’s team paid the firm more than $6m (£4.8m) to target swing voters, and it has now emerged that Mercer also introduced the firm – in which he has a major stake – to Farage.
In all events, Mercer's suing, the Guardian is defending itself and here's information tying Steve Bannon and the Mercers together from the New York Times:
The reclusive Robert Mercer, and daughter Rebekah, have emerged as two of the most influential figures on the right.
The Mercer family members have long been allied with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and were top backers of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. They’re also part-owners of Breitbart News, which was previously led by Bannon, and fund the Government Accountability Institute, an organization co-founded by Bannon.
A conservative media impresario and producer of documentary films before joining the Trump campaign, Mr. Bannon has assets worth $11.8 million to $53.8 million, his filing showed.
Mr. Bannon disclosed more than $500,000 in income from entities linked to the hedge fund manager Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, including $191,000 from the right-leaning media outlet Breitbart News, $125,333 from a data firm called Cambridge Analytica and more than $60,000 from the Government Accountability Institute.
The disclosure reveals more than was previously known about his ties to Cambridge Analytica, where he was vice president of the board: He had a stake in the company that he valued at $1 million to $5 million, which he plans to sell.
The disclosure suggests that Bannon Strategic Advisors served as an umbrella company for receiving fees he earned from interests in other companies such as Breitbart News, Cambridge Analytica and Glittering Steel, a company that produced the documentary “Clinton Cash,” on which Ms. Mercer served as an executive producer, as well as ads for Republican candidates.
So connect the dots. Parscale is the domino in the front. He is going to be invited to testify on the possibility of the use of Russian bots using fake American faux conservative Christian identities in order to proselytize bogus news stories about Hillary Clinton. Parscale was recruited by none other than Jared Kushner and in his capacity as digital director he worked closely with Steve Bannon, who was the vice president of the Board of Directors of Cambridge Analytica, a firm owned by Robert and Rebekah Mercer and implicated in interfering in Brexit. Media coverage on the Mercers and Cambridge Analytica’s role in Brexit has circulated in the UK which has recently led Robert Mercer to file suit against The Guardian.
Rebekah Mercer, it should also be noted, is close friends with Steve Bannon not only in his capacity as Vice President of Cambridge Analytica's board but also in her capacity as Executive Producer of “Clinton Cash,” and the Mercers are also part owners of Breitbart News.
Finally, Steve Bannon is good friends with Nigel Farage. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, if you happened to miss it, is a person of interest in the US counter-intelligence investigation that is looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Details from The Guardian:
But Farage’s relationships with people close to the US president began years earlier. Farage first met Steve Bannon, Trump’s strategist and former campaign chief executive, in the summer of 2012, when Bannon, who was interested in rightwing movements in Europe, invited the then Ukip leader to spend a few days in New York and Washington, according to an account in the New Yorker magazine.
There Farage was introduced to, among others, the staff of the then senator Jeff Sessions, who is now the US attorney general. Speaking of his longtime admiration for Bannon, Farage told the New Yorker last year: “I have got a very, very high regard for that man’s brain.”Two years later, in 2014, Breitbart News, of which Bannon was executive chair, opened an office in London. A top editor, Raheem Kassam, later went on to work as Farage’s chief of staff.
We could go on with these connections, ad infinitum, but the point has undoubtedly been made. All of these people and business entities orbiting around Steve Bannon are interconnected and have been making money together for quite some time. And they've been up to a lot more than earning a living. This band of merry Republicans has been stealing elections from those committed to the democratic process and giving the election to the thug or cause of their choice. There is going to be plenty of material for the House and the Senate, not to mention the FBI, to investigate with respect to Trump Russia and the real action is starting now, with examination of the role of the digital director and the phony faux Christian bots in stealing the 2016 election. The Mercers and Steve Bannon prided themselves on being “cutting edge” technologically; now they’re going to find out the edge cuts both ways.
PBS Frontline recently did a special on him.
Check it out.
Trump's favorite xenophobic bigot has always been a massive racist...
Thanks NowThis and narrator Debra Messing!
STASI: Like hell Bannon resigned from the White House
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017, 7:53 PM
Bannon got the heave-ho for two things only: Daring to take credit for getting Trump elected, and because General John Kelly deemed it so.
own decision. Again.
Steve Bannon out as White House chief strategist
So Bannon left to do...what?...spend more time with Satan? Yes, he’s headed back to Breitbart.
Meantime, Mrs. Satan, aka Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who lies like the doormat that she is, actually said in a statement, “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
What about that official statement is untrue? The part about being grateful, the part about wishing him the best, or even the date?
Oh, right, all are blatant lies.
Bannon and the high-profile departures from Trump White House
Remember Trump was sent to military school to get straightened out when he was a kid and is still in awe of military authority figures.
Trump & Co., (or what’s left of it) wish Bannon would have died on his way out the door so he couldn’t retake the reins of Brietbart, (which he immediately did--as chairman)and go after the President like Kim Jong Un goes after his relatives.
Good luck with that. Breitbart editor Joel B. Pollak, fired the first shot on Friday tweeting out a single hashtag tweet:#WAR. Then Bannon declared the Trump presidency over. You don’t make a fool of Bannon and think you’ll walk away unbloodied.
But why was Bannon really fired? You can make book that it wasn’t for reveling in Charlottesville hate when he loose-lipped it to the New York Times: “Just give me more. Tear down more statues. Say the revolution is coming. I can’t get enough of it.”
After all, nobody loves hate more than Trump.
NYSE cheers after Steven Bannon's exit from White House
Nor was Bannon busted for his extremist views, or even fortelling The American Prospectthere was no military strategy for dealing with North Korea.
Bannon got the heave-ho for two things only: Daring to take credit for getting Trump elected, and because General John Kelly deemed it so.
12 PHOTOSVIEW GALLERY
Top officials who have been fired or quit under Trump administration
So the story floating around that Bannon resigned Aug. 7 with an effective date of Aug. 14, is just crazy. That was four days before he was “resigned” in disgrace.
Evil geniuses do not allow a story to get ahead of them. Controlling the story is Bannon’s specialty, as much as firing people is Trump’s forte.
Steve Bannon's exit from the Trump White House changes nothing
So there’s a race war in the streets, the President’s at war with the legit media, and the right-wing media has declared war on the President.
“You’re fired!” was hysterical on a reality show, but in reality it signals hysteria in high places and the start of the U.S. uncivil war.
It is no secret that I disagree with Donald Trump on just about everything, but I have to say his decision regarding DACA is the ugliest and most cruel decision ever made by a president of the United States in the modern history of this country.
Bannon says Christie wasn't loyal enough for White House gig
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, September 8, 2017, 9:05 AM
told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in an interview set to air Sunday. “Didn’t make the plane.”
'Street fighter' Bannon slams Cardinal Dolan, Catholic Church
Bannon said the weekend after the scandalous tape was released was a “litmus test” in terms of who was really with Trump.
Bannon, in his first TV interview since leaving the White House, detailed the days after the explosive recording leaked to the Washington Post.
(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA)
“Billy Bush Saturday showed me who really had Donald Trump's back to play to his better angels,” he told CBS News.
Trump huddled his top advisers together on Oct. 8, a day after millions of Americans heard him describe grabbing women by the genitalia.
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Bannon recalled then-Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus gave Trump an ultimatum: “You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.”
Alec Baldwin returns as Trump for ‘Weekend Update’ Bannon sendoff
The conservative adviser — who went on to spend six months as the White House’s chief strategist — claims he was the only one in the room who said Trump still had an “absolutely 100%” chance of winning.
64 PHOTOSVIEW GALLERY
Donald Trump in the White House
“The Billy Bush thing is locker room talk,”Bannon said.
Dancing with the Stars' cast split on Trump outcastsTeacher arrested for inappropriate relationship with studentSpicer leaves White House with typo in farewell emailTelevangelist Jim Bakker predicts civil war if Trump is impeachedProsecutors urge judge to pull Shkreli’s bail over Clinton postAlec Baldwin returns as Trump for ‘Weekend Update’ Bannon sendoff
“(Voters) knew Donald Trump was just doing locker room talk with a guy,” he continued. “And they dismissed it. It had no lasting impact on the campaign.”
Anyone in Trump’s inner circle who thought otherwise would pay the price.
Steve Bannon: Trump has most divided administration in history
Bannon said he was taking names by Sunday.
Trump reportedly considered Christie for a cabinet position, but Bannon said his reaction to the tape killed the low-polling governor's chances.
“I’m Irish. I gotta get my black book and I got 'em,”he told “60 Minutes.”
Christie, an early Trump supporter after dropping his own presidential bid, had wavering fealty after the tape was released, the Breitbart exec said.
And as a result, Bannon said, he was “not looked at for a Cabinet position.”
President Trump cheers on Steve Bannon's return to Breitbart News
The low-polling New Jersey governor is term limited out of office in January. The tough-talking ex-prosecutor was reportedly considered to become Trump’s attorney general, but nothing ever came of it.
Christie does chair Trump’s committee on the growing opioid crisis, and the President has previously indicated the unpopular politician could get a White House job.
My God dude! Just post the link if you can't copy-and-paste it correctly!
Stephen Miller the DACA-killer:
Trump aide a disgrace to Jews, and to our common roots
Bradley Burston Sep 08, 2017
Stephen Miller’s family came from my dad’s village, in Belarus. Immigration is why Steve and I are both alive; now it’s his job to help kill the program protecting young immigrants to the U.S.
I take the killing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program very personally. And one of its killers, as well.
Stephen Miller is my lantsman (Yiddish for countryman).. His people come from my dad’s hometown, the shtetl of Antopol, in what is today Belarus.
As President Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, he is by far the most famous person descended from the villagers of Antopol.
He’s also a disgrace.
As the president’s point man on immigration, it’s his job to help kill the DACA program and jeopardize the future of 800,000 so-called Dreamers, who were brought to America as children, Americans in every sense but citizenship.
I can’t help but take this personally. Immigration is why Steve and I are both alive.
Helping to kill DACA and curb immigration are why Steve is a disgrace to the memory of that town, to the memory of what the Nazis did there to the people who couldn’t escape and immigrate to the United States.
Demonstrators gather on Pennsylvania Avenue during a demonstration in response to the Trump Administration's announcement that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program onZach Gibson/AFP
Because once upon a time, before World War II, a Republican president and a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives made a law that choked off immigration. One of their main targets was the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe, from places like Antopol.
My dad and his family were among the lucky ones. They got out in time. So were Stephen Miller’s great-grandparents, the Glotzers. They were part of the immigrant wave that anti-Semites called steerage slime.
If they hadn’t gotten out, they would have been rounded up when the Nazis came. They would have been taken to the woods, told to take off their clothes and to bring soap and a towel for the washing stations they were told were at the end of the path through the trees.
It took the SS four days to shoot to death all of Antopol’s 2,300 Jews.
In his devoted service to Trump, if Steve has proved one thing, over and over, it’s that he’s a disgrace to the Jews.
Here is the communications expert who haughtily, and in front of millions of viewers, on live television, belittled and misrepresented as “not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty” the American-Jewish poet Emma Lazarus’ revered “The New Colossus,” words that have welcomed millions of immigrants to America.
Here is the man who was not only a principal architect of the Muslim travel ban, aimed at barring entry to the United States on the basis of a non-Christian religion, but who also publicly and stridently questioned the principle of courts to even have a say on decisions made by the president.
But these and a clutch of other words and actions all take a back seat to the fundamental malevolence of Steve’s latest masterwork, in concert with the president he serves as no other.
Their response to the Nazis who raged in Charlottesville, Virginia and to the horrific flooding that overwhelmed Houston, was “Okay — quick, let’s change the subject.”
Let’s change it to immigration.
Let’s show the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan and the militiamen just how intentionally cruel we can get. Let’s kill the Dreamers program.
But here’s the irony: Steve couldn’t be the one to make the announcement. It had to be someone to whom even the KKK would listen.
Because after all these years, even after serving under Michele Bachmann and Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon, after all of his gun-nut, Christmas-adoring, racially tinged Republican ultraconservatism, Steve’s still not a real American. He’s still just an heir to unwanted Jews from Eastern Europe.
When you need to feed the base, bench the Jew.
Send in a real American. Someone like Steve’s old boss, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, born in then-segregated Selma, Alabama, the third in his direct line to be named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and for the confederate general who led the attack that launched the Civil War.
Real Americans all. Not like my lantsman Steve. And after all he’s done.
Who/What is Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon Gears Up for 2020, Says Donald Trump’s ‘Lost His Stuff’
01.04.18 1:20 AM ET
“He’s not going to make it,” Steve Bannon says of his old boss Donald Trump.
The former campaign manager and then White House chief strategist, now back at Breitbart, gives the president he takes credit for electing (“I came up with a solution for his broke-dick campaign in about a day”) a one-in-three chance of ending up impeached, of resigning, or of limping through one term before walking away.
“He’s lost his stuff.”
That’s according to Michael Wolff’s new account of the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, much of it sourced to Bannon and his camp, and most of it deeply hostile to Jarvanka, as they refer to first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Bannon, Wolff reports, has already assembled a “rump campaign operation” for 2020 and is telling people that Trump’s top 2016 backers—specifically Sheldon Adelson, Bob and Rebekah Mercer, Bernie Marcus and Peter Thiel—are now in Bannon’s corner as he travels the country meeting conservative leaders, to “kiss the ass and pay homage to all the gray-beards” as he sets the stage for “when I am president.”
The Guardian obtained a copy of Wolff’s book and published excerpts Wednesday morning, with Bannon predicting that special counsel Robert Mueller would “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.” Then, a few hours later, New York magazine rushed out its own authorized excerpt in which Bannon leads a Greek chorus of advisers, staffers, and confidants talking freely about how childish and unintelligent they find the commander in chief.
The Daily Beast obtained its own copy of the book later on Wednesday, at about the same time that Trump released a 265-word statement saying “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” that “now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” and concluding that he “is simply seeking to burn it all down.” Hours later, Trump attorney Charles Harder said in a statement that “legal action is imminent” for Bannon allegedly violating his non-disparagement agreement with Trump and making “in some cases outright defamatory” statements.
Harder, who’s also represented Melania Trump, had previously been financed in pursuing various lawsuits against Gawker, which ended up in the shuttering of that site and the sale of its sister sites, by Peter Thiel.
The Silicon Valley billionaire, Wolff reports, “absolutely was certain of Trump’s sincerity when he said they’d be friends for life—only never to basically hear from him again or have his calls returned” after he broke ranks with the tech elite to speak on Trump’s behalf at the 2016 Republican convention.
By May 2017, Thiel, “worried that Trump could bring Trumpism down,” planned to meet with deposed Fox News chief Roger Ailes to discuss the funding and launch of a new cable network, Wolff reports, only for Ailes to fall in his bathroom two days before their meeting and then die from his injuries days later. Previously, Ailes had reached out to Bannon, who was still in the West Wing and not ready to move on, asking: “O’Reilly and Hannity are in, what about you?”
Nine months earlier, and just weeks after Ailes—who by my count is the second most quoted figure in Fire and Fury, behind Bannon—had been ousted from Fox News over his sexual-harassment scandal, Wolff reports that “Trump asked his friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down. That was the job Bannon [took] a week later.”
The offer to Ailes came two months before Trump’s own “locker-room talk” tape emerged,” though Wolff writes about the future president’s attempts to get other men talk that way, to help him bed their wives:
Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed. In pursuing a friend’s wife, he would try to persuade the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought. Then he’d have his secretary ask the friend into his office; once the friend arrived, Trump would engage in what was, for him, more or less constant sexual banter. ‘Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often? You must have had a better fuck than your wife? Tell me about it. I have girls coming in from Los Angeles at three o’clock. We can go upstairs and have a great time. I promise…’ All the while, Trump would have his friend’s wife on the speakerphone, listening in.
Elsewhere, Wolff reports that Trump called then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates “such a c--t,” and that when Hope Hicks, who’d reportedly been involved with Corey Lewandowski, expressed concern about the press he was getting after being fired as campaign manager, Trump sent her running from the room when he replied: “You’ve already done enough for him. You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have.”
Bannon really thinks he can be elected POTUS?
‘Let them call you racists’: Steve Bannon delivers fighting speech to France’s National Front
By James McAuley
March 10, 2018 at 4:01 PM
Former top White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon spoke to supporters of France’s far-right National Front March 10 in Lille, France. (Reuters)
Former White House senior staffer Stephen K. Bannon addressed France’s far-right National Front on Saturday, heralding the global populist tide and attacking the “opposition party media.”
Bannon’s surprise visit to the party’s conference in Lille — announced via Twitter late Friday — was his most recent stop on a European tour that has included Switzerland along with Italy, where last week, voters abandoned establishment parties and opted for a hung Parliament dominated by right-wing anti-immigrant populists.
“I came to Europe as an observer and to learn,” Bannon said, wearing his typical rugged attire before a cadre of the party elite dressed in suits.
“What I’ve learned is that you’re part of a worldwide movement, that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary — bigger than all of it. And history is on our side,” he said. “The tide of history is with us, and it will compel us to victory after victory after victory.”
He also encouraged the party to stick to its nationalistic roots. “Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists,” he said.
Former chief strategist to President Trump, Stephen K. Bannon and National Front leader Marine Le Pen at a news conference March 10, 2018, in Lille, France. (Thibault Vandermersch/European Pressphoto Agency)
His speech contained a familiar litany of attacks against a global elite, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and journalists. Some of it translated; some of it did not. When Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, mentioned that he once sold a company to the French bank Société Générale, the room erupted in jeers, not cheers. “I thought you might like that,” he said in response.
Related: [Bannon’s post-Trump, post-Breitbart life is not what you’d expect]
On some level, the speech presented another development in the relationship between far-right movements in the United States and Europe, particularly in France. Last month, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen — the niece of National Front leader Marine Le Pen — spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Maryland.
Her speech echoed many of the statements of Donald Trump, whom Bannon helped to get elected to the U.S. presidency. “I am not offended when I hear President Donald Trump say ‘America first,’ ” she said. “I want Britain first for the British people, and I want France first for the French people.”
Related: [Trump’s GOP is morphing into France’s far right]
But in general, the meeting between Bannon and the party of Marine Le Pen came at a particularly fraught moment for Bannon himself and the National Front, with each trying to remain relevant in an unforgiving political environment.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Bannon was a close ally and confidant of Trump’s, and he joined the West Wing staff as Trump’s chief strategist. But he was forced out of the White House last August.
Likewise, Le Pen was a prominent contender for the French presidency in May 2017, but she suffered a landslide loss to Emmanuel Macron. Her party — widely seen as the alternative to Macron during the election — then fared poorly in France’s legislative elections: In a parliament of 577 seats, the National Front now holds only eight. That figure presents a striking contrast with the 34 percent of the popular vote that Le Pen won in the presidential election, and her party cannot be labeled the opposition.
Related: [France’s National Front lost big. Now it is in chaos.]
To that end, rebranding the National Front’s image is the primary purpose of the “party congress” in Lille this weekend. Le Pen and her allies are also expected to announce a new name for the party that they hope will appeal to more voters in the future.
Le Pen has long sought to “de-demonize” her party by distancing it from its origins.
The National Front was co-founded in 1972 by her father, the convicted Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen, who continues to refer to Nazi gas chambers as a “detail” in the history of World War II. Last week, he published the first volume of his memoirs, “Son of the Nation,” which feature an empathic defense of Philippe Pétain, the leader of France’s Vichy government, a body that willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany after Germany’s invasion of France during the war.
Although several of Marine Le Pen’s aides were also accused of Holocaust denial during the recent election campaign, she claims to be estranged from her father. The party conference in Lille also will feature a vote on whether the elder Le Pen can keep his title as the party’s honorary president. His daughter officially expelled him in 2015 for repeating the remark about gas chambers.
Bannon had some advice for those who might be embarrassed by such a history: “Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker.”
In French media, Jean-Marie Le Pen — noting that Bannon was widely perceived as the “most radical” of Trump’s advisers — cast doubt on the value of his daughter’s American guest.
“I think this is not exactly the definition of ‘de-demonization,’ ” he said.
Bannon Tried To Use Cambridge Analytica Ads To Suppress Black Vote
By Nicole Lafond | May 17, 2018 7:10 am
according to the Guardian.
During his time as vice president of Cambridge Analytica, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attempted to use the company’s political ad targeting technology to suppress the African American vote, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
“One of the things that provoked me to leave was discussions about ‘voter disengagement’ and the idea of targeting African Americans,” he said during his testimony, according to the Guardian.
Under Bannon’s leadership, the company targeted Facebook posts at African Americans reminding them of comments that Hillary Clinton had made in the 1990s calling young black people “super predators” to try to keep them from voting, according to the Guardian.
Bannon, along with billionaire Robert Mercer, wanted to use the targeted advertisement technology as part of an “arsenal of weapons to fight a culture war,” Wylie said Wednesday. Wylie, who was the first to sound the alarm on Cambridge Analytica’s use of private data from millions of Facebook users, said he had documents to back up his claims.
Read the Guardian’s full report here.