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What they are saying about Steve Bannon


President-elect Donald Trump announced Sunday that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus would be his chief of staff, and that former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon would be his “chief strategist and senior counselor.”

Trump’s appointment of Priebus was generally accepted as a good choice, but not so for the selection of Bannon as an adviser.

Bannon, 62, has been a lightning rod for controversy since he joined Trump’s campaign.

Bannon, a former U.S. Navy officer and a graduate of Harvard Business School, worked for Goldman Sachs, launched his own investment company, produced films and invested in the television series “Seinfeld” when the show needed help getting started.

>> Read more trending stories

He has faced criticism for his extreme right-wing rhetoric since he was named CEO of Trump’s campaign in August. The Southern Poverty Law Center has warned that Bannon is the “main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

His job will likely be on par with that of Karl Rove’s under President George W. Bush’s administration or John Podesta’s under President Barack Obama’s administration, according to The Washington Post. Why does Bannon elicit such a strong response? Here’s what some people say about him.

Most dangerous political operative in America

The Telegraph

“He has been described as “the most dangerous political operative in America.” Now he is one of the most powerful.

Steve Bannon has been announced as Donald Trump's chief strategist. On Sunday night Mr Trump’s team confirmed that Reince Priebus had been appointed chief of staff. But, in a telling twist, Mr Bannon, 62, was named first on the list, and described as Mr Priebus’s “equal” - a word that may be causing alarm in the capital.”

No shortage of reaction

NBC News

“Steve Bannon, former president of the incendiary Breitbart News and more recently chief executive of Trump's campaign, is taking on a role as Donald Trump's "chief strategist and senior counselor."

Bannon's new position was listed above the announcement of RNC chair Reince Priebus as Trump's new chief of staff on a statement issued Sunday. It said Bannon and Priebus would be "equal partners."

There was no shortage of reaction.”

‘Alt-right’ connection

The Washington Post

“President-elect Donald Trump's decision to appoint Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist in the White House has drawn a sharp rebuke from political strategists who see in Bannon a controversial figure too closely associated with the “alt-right” movement, which white nationalists have embraced.

Bannon, who was the executive chairman of Breitbart News before joining the Trump campaign in August, will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor for Trump; that will give Bannon authority over the strategic direction of the White House. Bannon will assume a similar role to that of Karl Rove during George W. Bush’s administration and recently by longtime strategist John Podesta under President Obama. He and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who will become White House chief of staff, will be among Trump's top advisers.”

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

 The Southern Poverty Law Center

Bannon part of leadership team

Breitbart News

“President-elect Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Stephen K. Bannon will be the White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor while Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House Chief of Staff.

“Bannon and Priebus will continue the effective leadership team they formed during the campaign, working as equal partners to transform the federal government, making it much more efficient, effective and productive,” stated a press release from Trump’s transition team on Sunday. “Bannon and Priebus will also work together with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to help lead the transition process in the run-up to Inauguration Day.”

Sending mixed signals

Vox

“Donald Trump announced Sunday that he would choose his campaign manager Stephen Bannon to serve as “Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President,” and that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House Chief of Staff.

A statement announcing the decision said that Bannon and Priebus “will continue the effective leadership team they formed during the campaign, working as equal partners to transform the federal government, making it much more efficient, effective and productive.”

The announcement sends mixed signals to those who have been watching Trump’s staffing picks for clues to how he might govern."

An "anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist’

USA Today

“Donald Trump's decision to make Stephen Bannon, former Breitbart News executive turned campaign CEO, his chief strategist and senior counselor in the White House was met with criticism.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Bannon's appointment in a statement, calling him an "anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and White nationalist alt-right extremist." The council pointed to the alt-right news website he used to run as proof of his views on Muslims and other minorities.”

A White Nationalist Is The New White House Chief Strategist

The Huffington Post

“Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News Network executive chairman known for having white nationalist views ― and who has himself been accused of anti-Semitism ― was named chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday. 

Bannon, 62, was taking time off from Breitbart to serve as CEO of the Trump campaign before Sunday’s announcement giving him a senior leadership role in the incoming administration.

Trump also announced Sunday that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus would serve as his chief of staff.”

A profile from October 2015 (before he joined Trump’s campaign)

Bloomberg

“It’s nearing midnight as Steve Bannon pushes past the bluegrass band in his living room and through a crowd of Republican congressmen, political operatives, and a few stray Duck Dynasty cast members. He’s trying to make his way back to the SiriusXM Patriot radio show, broadcasting live from a cramped corner of the 14-room townhouse he occupies a stone’s throw from the Supreme Court. It’s late February, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference is in full swing, and Bannon, as usual, is the whirlwind at the center of the action.” 


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