Steve Bannon

Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart Executive Chairman

One of Bannon’s favorite novels, the virulently racist The Camp of the Saints, was republished in English in 1994 by John Tanton’s publishing house The Social Contract Press. According to Cécile Alduy, an expert on the modern French far right, Jean Raspail’s widely denounced book “describes the takeover of Europe by waves of immigrants that wash ashore like the plague.”

About

  • Steve Bannon, the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network who previously served as then-candidate Trump’s campaign CEO, left his position in the White House as chief strategist and senior advisor to the President in August 2017.
  • Prior to joining the Trump campaign, Bannon used Breitbart as a de facto propaganda outlet for Trump’s presidential run, publishing countless pieces breathlessly praising the candidate and excoriating Trump’s adversaries during the primary campaign. One former Breitbart editor lamented that the outlet turned “into Trump Pravda” under Bannon’s leadership, and became a “go-to website” for supporters of the white supremacist alt-right movement.

Beliefs

  • In an interview with Mother Jones, Bannon boasted that Breitbart is “the platform for the alt-right,” referring to a loosely affiliated faction of racists and white supremacists.
  • Bannon responded to criticism of his ties to white nationalists, saying, “I’m a nationalist.”
  • The former White House strategist who was one of the Trump Administration’s key architects of both versions of the travel ban restricting entry from Muslim majority countries, previously used the French novel to describe the current refugee crisis, saying, “It’s not a migration. It’s really an invasion. I call it the Camp of the Saints.”
  • Bannon is a member of the secretive far-right strategy coalition Groundswell. Other members include Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
  • As Mother Jones has previously reported, Groundswell is comprised of hard-right leaders who have “been meeting privately since early [2013] to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for ‘a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.’”
  • In a March 2016 episode of Breitbart Radio, Bannon said that restoring sovereignty meant reducing immigration, stating, “Twenty percent of this country is immigrants. Is that not the beating heart of this problem?”
  • Bannon, who is a staunch proponent of slashing immigration to the U.S., included on his policy whiteboard a call to “sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to revise and revisit them.”
  • Breitbart has regularly published articles by anti-Muslim mouthpieces Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, and David Horowitz.

Attacks on DACA

  • In March of 2017, Buzzfeed reported that Bannon had in fact advocated for keeping DACA in place for a short period of time because he saw it as potential leverage for later immigration fights, such as using the threat of ending the program to extract demands for laws and funding to support a ramp up in deportations and possible cuts to legal immigration.
  • On September 7, 2017, Bannon appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes and expressed his disappointment in a tweet by President Trump that showed sympathy for DACA recipients. Bannon said, “the guys in the far right, the guys on the conservative side are not happy with this.”
  • A photo of Bannon’s policy whiteboard in May 2017 included a pledge to “terminate President Obama’s two illegal (EOs).”
  • Bannon and his protege, Julia Hahn, who is a former staff writer at Breitbart and who followed her former boss to work in the Trump Administration, co-wrote a 2015 hit piece on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, in which they attacked the Wisconsin lawmaker for his work on an omnibus bill that included continued protections and work permits for DACA recipients: “Though much of the public attention has surrounded the President’s 2014 executive amnesty, the President’s 2012 amnesty quietly continues to churn out work permits and federal benefits for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Paul Ryan’s bill funds entirely this 2012 executive amnesty for ‘DREAMers’—or illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors.”
  • Bannon’s pupil was also a fan of The Camp of the Saints, and once authored an article lauding the racist novel, stating that “all around the world, events seem to be lining up with the predictions of the book.” In the article, Hahn drew comparisons of Pope Francis’ welcoming attitude towards immigrants to the Papal figure in the French novel whose author partially blames for the “undoing of Western civilization itself.”
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