WSJ Interviews Stephen Bannon
by Stephen Lendman
Bannon is a former investment banker, entrepreneur, executive chairman of the politically conservative Breitbart News, and head of Trump’s presidential campaign from August 2016 through November 8.
Trump chose him as chief strategist and Senior Counselor to the President. He’ll have considerable influence on administration policies.
Interviewed by phone on Thursday by WSJ editorial board member Kimberley Strassel, here’s some of what he said.
He’s no “cloven-hoofed devil,” – his words, not mine. “I pride myself in doing things that matter,” he said.
“What mattered in the campaign was winning. We did. What matters now is pulling together the single best team we can to implement President-elect Trump’s vision.”
“How can you take anything seriously from a media apparatus – paid the amount of money you people are paid – that systematically missed something that was so obvious, that missed Brexit, that missed the Trump revolution?”
“You’d have thought they’d have learned their lesson on November 8. They clearly haven’t.”
He’s called Islamophobic, homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, alt-right, white supremacist. According to the WSJ, critics claim Breitbart News “is gearing up to be a Pravda-like state organ for the Trump administration.” Not so, says Bannon.
He calls himself a “conservative…populist…economic nationalist.” Like Trump, he deplores what I call media scoundrels.
He calls Breitbart “the most pro-Israel site in” America – active in “stopping this BDS movement” to its discredit, my comment not the Journal’s.
Claims about his being a Leninist wanting to “destroy the state” came from “a guy I’ve never heard of,” making accusations without due diligence checking.
Asked if he’s a white supremacist, he called himself “an economic nationalist…an America first guy. And (he) admire(s) nationalist movements throughout the world…never (a) supporter of ethno-nationalism.”
Accusations against him ignore “black working and middle class and the Hispanic working and middle class…like whites…severely hurt by…globalism.”
“(W)e are going to bring capitalism to the inner cities,” he said. Why was the Trump campaigned so relentlessly denigrated?
Establishment politics was “ready to coronate (scoundrel media darling) Hillary Clinton. That didn’t happen, and I’m one of the reasons why,” he claimed.
He calls alt-right ideology a movement of “younger people who are anti-globalists, very nationalistic, terribly anti-establishment.”
Breitbart represents many views, he explained: libertarian, Zionism, the alt-right, “the conservative gay community…proponents of restrictions on gay marriage…economic nationalism (and) populism (along with) the anti-establishment.”
He took extended leave from the site to join Trump’s campaign, continuing in his new capacity as part of his administration.
He called Hillary part of the old guard, what millions of Americans reject, “guardian of a corrupt and incompetent elite and status quo.”
He thinks Trump and Congress can work together effectively – even though at times they’ll disagree.
He never went on TV during the campaign, seeing “no purpose in trying to convince a bunch of media elites who only ever talk to themselves.”
“(P)olitics is war,” he added. “General Sherman would never have gone on TV to (reveal) his plans. I never tip my hand to the other side.”
He ended saying “right now we’ve got work to do.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.