Steve Bannon

Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart Executive Chairman

The former Breitbart editor turned Presidential advisor describes himself as a “nationalist,” and is comfortable working with extremists both in the United States and Europe. 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.”

  • Steve Bannon, the former 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.
  • Bannon recently teamed up with other anti-immigrant individuals such as Kris Kobach and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo to advise a group called We Build The Wall, Inc., dedicated to privately funding the border wall. 

Anti-immigrant Views

  • 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 has 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 a 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.”
  • On September 7, 2017, Bannon appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, where he 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.” Bannon went on to criticize the Catholic Church over their support for immigrants stating, “They need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”
  • Bannon was a member of the secretive far-right strategy coalition Groundswell. Other members included Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. As Mother Jones has 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?”
  • Breitbart has regularly published articles by anti-Muslim mouthpieces Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, and David Horowitz.

Anti-immigrant Activity

  • In 2017, Bannon reportedly joined Stephen Miller, Julie Kirchner and Jeff Sessions to assist in drafting the RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, which, if enacted, would cut legal immigration by 50%.
  • While at Breitbart, Bannon worked to promote misinformation about immigrants, immigration and individuals across the political spectrum who supported sensible reforms to the U.S. immigration system. He carried his goal of halting immigration to the United States with him in his work for the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and into the White House.
  • As part of ongoing litigation over the Trump Administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recalled Bannon asking the Secretary if he would be willing to speak to Kobach about ideas on a possible citizenship question on the decennial census. Bannon connected the two men.
  • Some of the other policies Bannon pushed for while in the Trump Administration were captured in a photo of his policy whiteboard in May 2017. Bannon’s immigration pledge board included sunsetting our visa laws, harsh interior enforcement measures, suspending the entry of Syrian refugees, building a wall along the Southern border and terminating DAPA and DACA.
  • In March of 2017, Buzzfeed reported that Bannon had 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.
  • 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 former 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. 
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