Trump Team Starting to Take Shape, Includes alt-Right Link
The president-elect announced Sunday that he has selected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to serve as chief of staff in his incoming administration.
In the same announcement, Priebus’ appointment shared top billing with the news that Trump campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.
The Priebus hire is a clear attempt to tap into the institutional party and it is Preibus’s reward, I suppose, for his obvious nose-holding over Trump’s nomination. It also shows that yes: Trump is the leader of the Republicans. It is his party now.
Bannon’s position is extremely concerning. At best, Bannon is a propagandist (Breitbart under his leadership can hardly be called news) and at worst he is directly allied with the alt-right. This is a troubling, but not unexpected, development.
Here’s a piece from the Daily Beast (linked in the NPR piece) from when Bannon was added to the campaign: Alt Right Rejoices at Donald Trump’s Steve Bannon Hire:
“Latterly, Breitbart emerged as a nationalist site and done great stuff on immigration in particular,” VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow told The Daily Beast.
VDare is a white supremacist site. It’s named after Virginia Dare, the first white child born to British colonists in North America. Brimelow said he and Bannon met briefly last month and exchanged pleasantries about each other’s work.
“It’s irritating because VDARE.com is not used to competition,” Brimelow added. “I presume that is due to Bannon, so his appointment is great news.”
Brimelow isn’t the only prominent white nationalist to praise the Bannon hire. Richard Spencer, who heads the white supremacist think tank National Policy Institute, said he was also pleased. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has given favorable coverage to the white supremacist Alt Right movement. And Spencer loves it.
Spencer said Breitbart and Bannon have helped Alt Right ideas gain legitimacy—and, more importantly, exponentially expand their audiences.
From another Daily Beast piece:
Bannon’s support for European far-right parties runs far deeper than his interest in Marion Maréchal-Le Pen or the National Front. He brags about his international Breitbart operation as “the platform” for the American alt-right, and has for years been thinking globally, with an affinity for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the Freedom Party in the Netherlands (PVV), all of which have earned glowing coverage on the pages of Breitbart.
These kinds of choices, with sinister potentiality (and no, that is not hyperbole), are why so many people are dismayed and upset by Trump’s victory. Yes, no one likes their side to lose, but who the winner is matters. And Trump, for whatever reason, allied himself with Bannon and his brand of white nationalism and media exploitation. This is not the kind of person one wants in a position of national power.
More to come, unfortunately.