Stephen Kevin "Steve" Bannon (born November 27, 1953) is a movement conservative who helped guide Donald J. Trump to his remarkable presidential victory and then stayed on as a top advisor in the White House until August 2017. Since then Bannon has continued his work as a leading conservative activist at Breitbart News. A former U.S. naval officer and businessman, until August 2016, Bannon was the executive chairman of conservative news source Breitbart News. Bannon's conservative principles of nationalism, populism, and non-interventionism are influential among conservatives and Republicans.
Bannon joined the United States Navy in 1977 and became an officer in six months. He became a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan after he saw Jimmy Carter's destructive left-wing policies – before that, he was apolitical. He served for seven years.
Bannon and Roger Ailes of Fox News Channel had relations with each other and were "allies" to an extent but also were rivals, competing for their differing visions for the Republican Party and for greater influence over Trump. Bannon won out on the struggle after Trump became the GOP nominee. During the campaign, Bannon warned Ailes about Megyn Kelly, with the former telling Ailes that she would betray him. That came true in July 2016.
White House Chief Strategist
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appointed Bannon as his chief strategist, and Bannon took office upon Trump inauguration in January 20, 2017.
Due to his conservative, nationalist views, as well as his strong opposition to the mainstream media, the MSM was ruthless in trying to oust him from the White House. More moderate members in the White House also oppose him. Due to that opposition, Bannon has been falsely claimed to be "racist," even though these claims have been refuted. In fact, Bannon has called white supremacists and racists "a collection of clowns." He was described as the "intellectual heart" of Trump's political movement, and he preferred working on weekends over partying. Bannon strongly supported Israel, advocating for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On August 18, 2017, the White House announced that Bannon was leaving his role, effective immediately. The UK's Guardian newspaper reported that minutes earlier a White House insider and Trump ally had confided that the leaks over previous days about Bannon's role were "part of an effort to pressure the White House aide to step down." The source claimed: "They are trying to get him to quit." The Guardian also noted that "[Bannon's] absence means more power and influence for figures such as Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and the national economic council chair, Gary Cohn, who have few, if any, ideological ties to the Republican Party and the conservative movement." On the same day his resignation was announced, 20 grassroots conservative groups sent a letter to President Trump asking him to keep Bannon, along with Kellyanne Conway.
- "The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States."
- "I don’t need to be lectured … by a bunch of limousine liberals, okay, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons … about any of this."
- "The Neo-Nazis and Neo-Confederates and the Klan, who, by the way, are absolutely awful – there’s no room in American politics for that. “There’s no room in American society for that."
- "I don’t need the affirmation of the mainstream media. I don’t care what they say. They can call me an anti-Semite. They can call me racist. They call me nativist. You can call me anything you want. Okay? As long as we’re driving this agenda for the working men and women of this country, I’m happy."
- "In the 48 hours after we won, there's a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. I mean, we totally embraced the establishment ... Because ya had to staff a government."
- "America’s built on ... our citizens. ... Economic nationalism is what this country was built on. The American system. Right? We go back to that. We look after our own. We look after our citizen, we look after our manufacturing base, and guess what? This country’s going to be greater, more united, more powerful than it’s ever been. ... And by the way, that’s every nationality, every race, every religion, every sexual preference. As long as you’re a citizen of our country. As long as you’re an American citizen you’re part of this populous economic nationalist movement."
- "That's the geniuses of the Bush administration. I hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt ... They're idiots, and they've gotten us in this situation, and they question a good man like Donald Trump."
- "The elites represented by Mitch McConnell hold me in contempt. They think I’m a bad guy. They think I’m a dangerous guy. I wear their contempt as a badge of honor."
- "Breitbart reveals owners: CEO Larry Solov, the Mercer family and Susie Breitbart", February 25, 2017. Retrieved on August 10, 2017.
- Lee, Tony (August 24, 2017). Study: ‘Bannon Wing’ Represents ‘Major Part of Modern’ GOP. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
- Kennedy, Douglas (March 30, 2017). Fox News Exclusive: The making of Steve Bannon, from young Navy man to White House power player. Fox News. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Steve Bannon: I Warned Ailes About Megyn Kelly — ‘She’s the Devil’. Breitbart News. April 21, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (July 19, 2016). Exclusive — Fox News Stars Stand With Roger Ailes Against Megyn Kelly, More Than 50 Fox Contributors, All Primetime, Willing To Walk. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Kurtz, Howard (April 14, 2017). Bannon bashing: Why the press is targeting the Trump aide as barely hanging on. Fox News. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Establishment Rising in Trump’s White House: Noonan Says Efforts to ‘Take Out’ Bannon ‘Low, Unseemly, Ugly’. Breitbart News. April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Steve Bannon's former partner in Hollywood says Trump strategist is no racist. Fox News. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Siegel, Josh (August 16, 2017). Steve Bannon: 'Fringe' far-right who rallied in Charlottesville are 'a collection of clowns'. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Pollak, Joel B. (August 16, 2017). Bannon Calls Left-Wing Journalist to Declare Economic War on China. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Bannon calls far right 'clowns,' says enemies are 'wetting themselves,' in rare interview. Fox News. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Lee, Tony (August 20, 2017). Politico: Bannon ‘Intellectual Heart’ of Movement Who Would Rather Work Weekends than Party in Hamptons. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (August 21, 2017). Report: Bannon Urged Trump to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem — Was Blocked by Jared Kushner. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Jacobs, Ben (August 18, 2017) "Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist, removed from role." London: The Guardian. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Moons, Michelle (August 18, 2017). 20 Grassroots Conservative Groups Come Out in Support of Steve Bannon. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Easley, Jonathan (August 18, 2017). Bannon back at Breitbart after White House ouster. The Hill. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- ‘Populist Hero’ Stephen K. Bannon Returns Home to Breitbart. Breitbart News. August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- McCaskill, Nolan D. (January 27, 2017). Trump backs Bannon: 'The media is the opposition party'. Politico. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Lee, Tony (September 10, 2017). Bannon: I’ve Fought for Racial Unity All My Life; Don’t Need Lectures from ‘Limousine Liberals’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Pollak, Joel B. (September 11, 2017). 25 Key Quotes from Steve Bannon’s 60 Minutes Interview. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Spiering, Charlie (September 10, 2017). Steve Bannon: ‘Original Sin’ of Team Trump Was Embracing the Establishment. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Pandey, Erica (September 10, 2017). Bannon on 60 Minutes: 9 key quotes. Axios. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Moons, Michelle (September 10, 2017). Steve Bannon: All Citizens of All Backgrounds Are Part of the Nationalist-Populist Movement. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Rodriquez, Katherine (September 10, 2017). Steve Bannon: ‘America Was Built on Her Citizens’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Lee, Tony (September 10, 2017). Bannon on 60 Minutes: I Hold Bush Admin ‘Geniuses’ in ‘Complete Contempt’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Lee, Tony (September 25, 2017). Bannon to Hannity: AL Sen. Race Referendum on McConnell’s Party of Davos—‘I Wear Their Contempt as a Badge of Honor’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 25, 2017.