Steve bannon

Does Steve Bannon’s arrest damage Trump’s re-election’s bid?

Oops. Not only did the wall that Donald Trump promised to build never get built, but it turns out that some of his closest former confederates are now accused of deploying the slogan in the interests of building up nothing other than their own fortunes. A grizzled Steve Bannon, Trump’s former campaign adviser, wearing a green Barbour jacket was arrested this morning on charges of fraud by New York federal prosecutors. The contention of the Manhattan prosecutors is that Bannon, who is said to be worth tens of millions, pilfered about £760,000 ($1million) through a private group called ‘We Build the Wall’. The advisory board contains a bevy of conservative all-stars,

The Trump revolution is devouring its own children

Steve Bannon is out. H.R McMaster is in. It’s now starting to dawn upon some of Donald Trump’s most ardent admirers that they’ve been had. The main accomplishment of the Trump revolution has not been to forward populism. It has been to devour its own children. Trump entered office declaring that ‘this carnage ends now’. Not so. He’s been producing it in the form of lopping off the head of one adviser after another. Bannon is now promising ‘war’ against the ‘New York Democrats’ that he says are running the White House. If so, it will be a fratricidal one. Bannon was of course the brains behind Trump’s defeat of Hillary

The invisible man | 11 July 2019

The Brink is Alison Klayman’s documentary portrait of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist (he shaped the ‘America First’ campaign, proposed the Muslim travel ban, etc.) and former boss of Breitbart News, the place where unsuccessful white men go to whine. The film follows him for 15 months from the autumn of 2017 as he attempts to organise far-right European parties into a ‘populist nationalist’ movement, and you may wish to look away when Nigel Farage smarms all over him as it’s not a pretty sight. (I’m a delicate flower, so could only watch from behind my hands.) But it is not insightful and, alas, utterly fails to capture

The wrong right

To the inhabitants of the British Isles, the nations of central Europe have always existed in a semi–mythical space, near enough to be recognised as somehow European, but too distant to be taken seriously. Neville Chamberlain dismissed them as ‘faraway countries of which we know little’; Shakespeare gave landlocked Bohemia a coastline. In British school textbooks, Poland appears for the first time in 1939 and then vanishes again, just as abruptly. In the feverish politics of the Brexit era, central Europe has once again returned — and, once again, it is in a semi-mythical form. This time, the region is playing the role of an imaginary alternative Europe, one perfectly

Portrait of the Week – 6 September 2018

Home Mark Carney kindly said he would stay on as governor of the Bank of England if it helped the government ‘smooth’ the Brexit transition. Lord King of Lothbury, Mervyn King, a former governor of the Bank of England, said that ‘incompetent’ preparation for Brexit had left Britain without a credible bargaining position. Paul Pester announced his resignation as chief executive of TSB after seven years, following the computing failure at the bank. Chris Evans announced on air that he would be leaving the Radio 2 breakfast show at the end of the year; he is to host Virgin Radio’s equivalent. David Watkin, the architectural historian, died aged 77. Lord

The pointlessness of banning Bannon | 4 September 2018

Under David Remnick’s editorship, the New Yorker has become stronger than ever during a period where many titles have collapsed. So you’d think he might be able to fend off the kind of nonsense he’s just experienced. The New Yorker has branched out to publish unmissable podcasts, regular emails, blogs and events which combine to push the magazine sales up 10pc. Remnick hasn’t torn it up and started again. He managed to keep everything the same, by changing everything: projecting and protecting the magazine’s identity, on and off the page. So when he decided to conduct an interview with Steve Bannon live on stage, as part of the New Yorker Festival, it was

Brendan O’Neill

Steve Bannon and the sanitisation of public life

Well done, New Yorker, you have just empowered the mob. You have boosted the moral standing and arrogance of those 21st-century offence-takers who believe certain people should not be allowed to speak in public. In disinviting Steve Bannon from your ideas festival at the behest of irate tweeters and arrogant celebs, you have sent a depressing message to society: that it is always worth agitating for censorship because eventually you will succeed. Eventually the targets of your censorious ire will cave in and give you what you want: a sanitised public sphere in which there won’t be so much as a peep from people whose ideas we find difficult or

The BBC gave Steve Bannon a platform – and it was fascinating

If the BBC really is, as Steve Bannon says, a communications department of the global elite, they messed up badly last night. Emily Maitlis’s 20-minute long interview with Bannon on Newsnight was mesmerising television — even, or especially, if you can’t bear the subject.  It was also the longest advertisement for economic nationalism yet delivered to British viewers. No doubt Raheem Kassam, the close Bannon associate who’s just left Breitbart and has been on Newsnight a few times himself, had something to do with it. By airing the discussion, the Beeb disproves the Bannonite idea that it is part of an elite conspiracy to silence populist points of view on immigration.

High life | 15 March 2018

Gstaad I never made it to Zurich but met up with Steve Bannon through the miracle of technology, thanks to my hosts at the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche, who gave him my telephone number. He rang at a civilised time and we had a very cosy chat for an hour or so. I don’t know how it was done, and don’t ask me for details, but I could see him and apparently he could see me too. The first things I said were that I was 100 per cent heterosexual and what a pity it was that I had to be initiated into this technology while talking to a man

Nicholas Farrell

‘Populism, fascism – who cares?’

We are in a hotel suite at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Zurich when Stephen K. Bannon tells me he adores the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. But let’s be clear. Bannon — as far as I can tell — is not a fascist. He is, however, fascinated by fascism, which is understandable, as its founder Benito Mussolini, a revolutionary socialist, was the first populist of the modern era and the first tabloid newspaper journalist. Il Duce, realising that people are more loyal to country than class, invented fascism, which replaced International Socialism with National Socialism. He was thus able to ‘weaponise’ — to use a favourite Bannon word — what the

Steve Bannon: Brexit is down to Nigel Farage

During the EU referendum, there was a fierce rivalry not just between Leave and Remain but between the two groups campaigning for Brexit. It’s safe to say there was little love lost between Vote Leave – fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – and Leave.EU which relied heavily on Nigel Farage. So, which side swung the vote? According to Steve Bannon – President Trump’s former adviser – it was all down to Farage. In an interview with Spectator USA, Bannon says that Brexit was down to two things: the website Breitbart London and… Nigel Farage. ‘Brexit would not have happened if Breitbart London had not started,’ he claims, referring

Donald Trump unleashes fire and fury on Steve Bannon

Forget North Korea for a moment — President Donald J Trump today launched a devastating assault on Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, and the man often credited as the architect of his success. Replying to bitchy comments Steve Bannon reportedly made in Fire and Fury, a new book about the Trump White House by arch-muckraker hack Michael Wolff, Trump exploded. His comments are worth reading in full: ‘Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating

The ominous political genius of Steve Bannon

In his fateful interview with Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect, Steve Bannon’s remarks about taking a tougher stand on trade with China, battling his enemies within the administration, and the futility of military action against North Korea generated the most headlines. But it was a widely overlooked comment about identity politics that offers the most important insight into the brilliant and cynical political mind of President Donald Trump’s now-departed counsellor and former campaign CEO. ‘The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ‘em,’ Bannon gloated to Kuttner. ‘I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and

Is Donald Trump now at war with Trumpism?

Ding dong Steve Bannon is gone – and all the liberal world order is cock-a-hoop. As Democrat congressman Tim Ryan said, ‘Good. He had no business being there to begin with.’ Or as Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. put it, ‘Steve Bannon should have never been a White House official.’ Maybe it is a good thing that Steve Bannon, an apocalyptic thinker better suited to Breitbart and Talk Radio agitation than real power, is gone. And yet and yet – in the craziness that is Trumpland, Bannon was the closest thing to a coherent strategic thinker in the White House. Who is there now? Bannon had principles – mad ones, perhaps –

Fraser Nelson

Yet again, Trump’s presidency has conformed to a Saturday Night Live sketch

The statement from the White House makes little attempt to disguise what happened. ‘White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.’ This is pretty much the same form of words used when Anthony Scaramucci was fired by Kelly. Four senior White House aides have now gone in the last five weeks. So it seems that Kelly, a former US general brought in by Trump a few weeks ago, is serious about fixing this dysfunctional White House – and, perhaps more strikingly, Trump seems serious about letting him do so. The clincher

Trump’s presidency will stain America for years to come

It is amazing what a crowd – or a basket – of deplorables can do. Sometimes they can even strip away cant and reveal the truth. Such has been the case since a few hundred neo-Nazis and assorted other white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the weekend. They were protesting the planned removal of a statue honouring General Robert E. Lee, a statue typical of the American south’s longstanding emotional sympathy for the Confederacy. The Confederates might have been wrong, but they were romantic and, besides, they were our kind of wrong. Of course they should still be honoured by statues that serve as consolation prizes or participation trophies.

Trump’s Brit

Sebastian Gorka is a big man. He has a powerful handshake, a deep voice, and a serious goatee. He’s also deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, and known as the most influential Brit in the White House. He was born in London, the son of Hungarian immigrants, and grew up in Ealing. Yet he seems to identify more with America and Hungary than with Britain. When I ask him if he feels British, he says, ‘As a good friend said to me, and I think this is a quote from someone else, possibly Hayek, “You were always American, you were just born in the wrong country.”’ Nevertheless, the British government,

Why it’s a shame Steve Bannon is being sidelined

There were three reasons why I so badly wanted Donald Trump to win the US presidential election. One was that the alternative was Hillary; another that I knew it would annoy all the worst people in the world; but the third was a positive one: I genuinely believed that as an independently wealthy, outsider candidate with no loyalties to the DC establishment, Trump was going to be the revolutionary hero who would finally free the people from the shackles of a corrupt, sclerotic and self-serving ruling elite. Some may scoff at my naivety. But there was evidence to support my view. Brexit had just happened and what seemed clear from

Is Trump’s revolution already over?

There were three reasons why I so badly wanted Donald Trump to win the US presidential election. One was that the alternative was Hillary; another that I knew it would annoy all the worst people in the world; but the third was a positive one: I genuinely believed that as an independently wealthy, outsider candidate with no loyalties to the DC establishment, Trump was going to be the revolutionary hero who would finally free the people from the shackles of a corrupt, sclerotic and self-serving ruling elite. Some may scoff at my naivety. But there was evidence to support my view. Brexit had just happened and what seemed clear from

Donald Trump is listening to his generals – and that’s great news for Britain

‘Great Britain has lost an Empire and not yet found a role’. Fifty-five years on, Dean Acheson’s remark has not lost its sting. British statecraft is, even now, an attempt to lay claim to a place in the post-imperial world. The events of the past few months — Brexit, the election of the most unlikely US president in history and the debate over the Union — all raise the issue of what kind of country Britain hopes to be. The chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria last week has prompted the first foreign policy crisis of this new era. Britain’s role in the response