Senior staff at the White House Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon (L-R) applaud before being sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC January 22, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Unceremoniously fired from the White House, Steve Bannon returned to Breitbart News over the weekend full of rage and vengeance, vowing “war” on a long list of enemies across media and government he believes obstructed him from enacting a nationalist agenda in the Trump administration.
Bannon hopes to expand Breitbart – his launching pad into national politics last year, which he has characterized as the “platform for the alt-right” white supremacist movement – into television and video to compete with the right-wing Fox News Channel and target Republican and news establishment figures, US media reported on Monday.
He refers to his foes within the Trump administration as “globalists,” New Yorkers and secret Democrats. Three of the most prominent and high-ranking of those enemies are Jewish: Ivanka Trump
and Jared Kushner
, the president’s daughter and son-in-law turned senior adviser; and Gary Cohn, head of Trump’s National Economic Council.
A Vanity Fair
article published on Monday anonymously cites one Bannon ally claiming the former White House chief strategist believes Kushner is a “dope.”
That piece, along with several others published in the US press on Monday, claim “deep animosity” remains between Bannon and Kushner.
“Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed out Bannon because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her Jewish faith,” Breitbart wrote over the weekend, quoting a UK Daily Mail
report. The website later updated its story with its own sourcing characterizing the British outlet story as “totally false.”
Bannon is apparently personally offended by the suggestion he is antisemitic, and often cites his support for Israel as evidence to the contrary. He lobbied hard to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and refused to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
, who he refers to as a “terrorist.”
Yet, Bannon’s final battle with Ivanka, Kushner and Cohn as a White House staffer revolved around Trump’s response to a white-power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which prominently featured thousands of neo-Nazis targeting “Jewish influence” in American power centers. The three Jewish staffers encouraged the president to unequivocally denounce the marchers and distance himself from their cause, but Bannon pushed back, lobbying the president against giving an “inch” to the “opponents” criticizing his crisis response.
A New York Times
report says Bannon has openly referred to “Javanka” as a pair of politically naive Manhattanites disconnected from the heartland by their New York roots. Breitbart also has marked Cohn in recent days with globe emojis around his name– denoting him as a globalist, but to many Jewish groups evoking classic antisemitic tropes of Jewish power.
“You can take Gary Cohn out of Wall Street but you cannot take the Wall Street out of Gary Cohn,” reads another Breitbart piece on the NEC head. Earlier this month, it reported on his attendance at an “elite” party in the “ultra-expensive” Hamptons.
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents – on Capitol Hill, in the media and in corporate America,” Bannon told Bloomberg News on Friday.
“Steve is now unchained,” a source close to Bannon told the Atlantic
on Friday. “Fully unchained.
Bannon joins Breitbart armed with seven months of knowledge from inside the halls of the White House. He is only able to weaponize a portion of that information, however; given “Top Secret” security clearance while in government, much of the material he might otherwise disseminate in his “war” against Trump’s family will be protected legally.
Bannon had been under fire from American Jewish organizations since he first joined the Trump campaign last year. Several of those groups praised his departure on Friday, including the Anti-Defamation League