Donald Trump has named Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of far-right publication Breitbart News, as his chief strategist and senior counselor. The president-elect announced that Bannon would be working alongside Reince Priebus, a longtime party member who previously operated as Republican National Committee chair, with both men operating as “equal partners” in his administration.
The appointment of Bannon continues a working relationship forged in August, when Trump hired him as chief executive of his campaign. As the head of Breitbart News, Bannon threw his lot in with Trump early, reportedly taking money from the candidate’s campaign, suppressing internal dissent over his selection, and instructing reporters to ignore negative stories about his campaign. This included the grabbing of Breitbart News journalist Michelle Fields by Trump’s previous campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
Bannon is one of the key architects of the “alt-right” movement, and is orchestrating a “new vast right-wing conspiracy,” according to a Bloomberg Businessweek profile published earlier this year. At Breitbart News, Bannon used news stories to viciously criticize more moderate or left-wing politicians, as well as attacking women, feminists, political correctness, muslims, and trans people through the ultra-conservative site. A small selection of headlines published on Breitbart News during Bannon’s tenure give an idea of his aggressive approach.
These are actual headlines Bannon published on his "news" site, this is Trump's chief strategist & sr. counselor: pic.twitter.com/4xRyWabKDS— Peter Bondi (@pbondi) November 13, 2016
Bannon was perhaps too controversial to take the role of chief of staff, but he will be working closely with Priebus, who — while more moderate in his stated views than the Breitbart News boss — was one of the first major members of his party to develop a positive relationship with Trump after his victory in the Republican primaries. Priebus called the candidate “a role model” in October, and worked to halt efforts by anti-Trump Republicans to reject his selection, a calculated move that has rewarded him with one of the most powerful positions in the incoming administration.