Donald Trump’s campaign CEO Steve Bannon holds a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Nov. 5, 2016, in Reno, Nev.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Steve Bannon has used his Harvard Business School-honed skills to promote a reality-show entertainer all the way to the presidency, using fear, half-truths, xenophobia and racism.

Now that the mask is off, Bannon gave his first official interview to the Hollywood Reporter after being named chief strategist in the Donald Trump administration, and he did not mince words. Perhaps this is why white supremacists rejoiced at his appointment.


Bannon actually said: “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they [liberals] get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing” (emphasis ours).

Bannon also denied being a white nationalist but said that he does, in fact, have a plan—one that will last at least 50 years in his mind.


“I’m not a white nationalist,” he said. “I’m a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist. The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get [f—ked] over. If [Trump is successful] we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote, and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.”

In the interview, Bannon also referenced notorious racist Andrew Jackson’s “populism” and said that Trump was one of America’s greatest orators. (Side note: Don’t great orators have to use more than seven keywords? In Trump’s case—“great,” “incredible,” “huge,” “amazing,” “America,” “wall,” “immigrant”?)


“You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience,” he continued. “But he speaks in a nonpolitical vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic Party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit, she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids.”

Bannon’s appointment to Trump’s incoming administration is opposed by a number of groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, People for the American Way and others.

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