Meet Trump's 'Dangerous' New Campaign Chief

Breitbart co-founder 'loves the fight'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2016 5:34 AM CDT
Updated Aug 18, 2016 6:11 AM CDT
Meet Trump's 'Dangerous' New Campaign Chief
Bannon poses at the premiere of "Sweetwater" during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.    (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

Donald Trump has doubled down on Trumpism with the appointment of new campaign CEO Stephen Bannon—and many people, including some who worked with him at Breitbart News, sound pretty worried about where he's going to take the campaign. One thing is clear: It's not a move aimed at courting the GOP establishment. A roundup of coverage:

  • In a lengthy profile of Bannon and Breitbart itself, Vanity Fair's Ken Stern describes the conservative organization as "Trump before Trump." He predicts that Bannon's real goal is "cementing an American nationalist movement," not securing victory for Trump—and that if the "outraged and xenophobic tone of Breitbart is any guide, we are in for a final three months of the campaign that will put the rest to shame."

  • "Steve is a fighter. He loves the fight. He loves the scrum," Andrew Marcus, who directed a documentary on Breitbart, says in a New York Times profile of the 62-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker. Bannon's past includes a stint in the Navy, a Sarah Palin documentary—and a Seinfeld deal that made him a fortune.
  • Ben Shapiro, who described Breitbart as "Trump's Pravda" when he quit the organization in March, doesn't mince his words at the Daily Wire. He calls the "legitimately sinister" Bannon a "vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies"—and a "smarter version of Trump." He accuses Bannon of, among other things, openly embracing the white supremacist movement.
  • The Daily Beast reports that the "alt right" movement—better known as white supremacists—is rejoicing at the appointment of Bannon.
  • Clinton spokesman Robby Mook slammed the Trump campaign for handing the reins to somebody who "peddles divisive, at times racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories," Politico reports. He said the move signals that Trump is about to "double down on his most small, nasty, and divisive instincts."
  • The Hill spoke to Republicans on Capitol Hill and found that many of them are "apoplectic" at the hire. "Breitbart has no credibility outside of the most extreme conservative wing of our party," one House member says. "This would seem to signal that Trump is ready to go double-barrel against all of Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike." GOP strategist John Feehery, however, says that while Breitbart is "nuts," Bannon is somebody who could bring some "much-needed discipline" to Trump's campaign.
  • Also not a Bannon fan: Glenn Beck. Bannon is "a horrible, despicable human being" and "quite possibly the most dangerous guy in all of American politics," he said Wednesday, per RealClearPolitics.
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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