Reeling in the polls, Trump has shaken up his campaign again, appointing Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, as CEO.
Bannon has no experience on political campaigns but he does have something more important: an unshakable fidelity to Donald Trump.
During the campaign Breitbart, under Bannon’s leadership, has gained a reputation for doing anything and everything to support Trump — critics are smeared, conspiracy theories embraced, polls unskewed.
The hiring of Bannon answers the question, finally and definitively, if Trump will “pivot” to a more professional and presidential campaign style.
The answer is no.
Here’s a bit more about the man who will be guiding the Trump campaign from now until election day.
Bannon turned Breitbart News into “Trump’s personal Pravda”
This was according to Ben Shapiro, Breitbart’s former editor-at-large:
Andrew [Breitbart] built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy. In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew’s mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda
Shapiro resigned after Breitbart management ordered staffers to stop defending one of their reporters, Michelle Fields, after she was alleged assaulted by Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski.
Lewandowski was ultimately charged with assault but the charges were later dropped by prosecutors.
Bannon has “a touch of Clinton Madness”
He believes the key to taking down Hillary Clinton is rerunning the attacks Republicans made on Bill Clinton in the 1990s for today’s millennials.
“There’s a whole generation of people who love the news but were 7 or 8 years old when this happened and have no earthly idea about the Clinton sex stuff,” Bannon told Bloomberg.
Trump’s former campaign manager described Bannon’s style as “win at all costs”
Corey Lewandowski told CNN that Bannon was “a bit of a street fighter, a person who is willing to go right at his opponents.”
Trump regularly called Bannon to request coverage of himself
BuzzFeed reported “sources at Breitbart said the billionaire has regularly taken advantage of his relationship with the site by placing calls to Bannon and asking for stories to be written about himself.”
BuzzFeed also said some staffers claimed Trump’s relationship with Breitbart was “pay to play.” Bannon denied the report.
Bannon personally approved all coverage of Trump on Breitbart, according to reports
A Breitbart source told Vanity Fair in March that “everything that is written about Trump must be approved by Bannon.” Vanity Fair reported “Bannon is copied on all stories filed about Trump, and exercises his veto power even for stories that only mention Trump by name or in the context of another person referring to him.”
Bannon is a former banker for Goldman Sachs
Trump’s campaign has also called for a moratorium on all financial regulations.
Bannon created a documentary glorifying Sarah Palin
Bannon wrote and directed a 2011 documentary about Sarah Palin called The Undefeated.
It received a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Los Angeles Times called it a “a troop-rallying campaign infomercial as imagined by Michael Bay: hero-worshipping, crescendo-edited at a dizzying pace, thunderously repetitive and its own worst enemy as a two-hour, talking-points briefing.”
Bloomberg reported that the film was seen as a launching pad for a Palin presidential campaign:
In the Bannon repertoire, no metaphor is too direct. His films are peppered with footage of lions attacking helpless gazelles, seedlings bursting from the ground into glorious bloom. Palin, for one, ate it up and traveled to Iowa, trailed by hundreds of reporters, to appear with him at a 2011 screening in Pella that the press thought might signal her entrance into the 2012 presidential race.
Bannon makes a fortune off Seinfeld royalties
After leaving Goldman Sachs, Bannon started his own boutique financial firm, focusing on media acquisitions. In one deal in 1992, in lieu of his full fee, he accepted a stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Those profits now help finance the Breitbart empire.
Bannon founded the Government Accountability Institute, the organization behind the controversial book “Clinton Cash”
The Government Accountability Institute, which is essentially Breitbart News’ more scholarly counterpart, is run by Peter Schweizer. It produced the book Clinton Cash which propelled issues about the financing of the Clinton Foundation into the national media.