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Trump Picks Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist

HeadlineNov 14, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has named Stephen Bannon, his campaign chief and former head of the right-wing outlet Breitbart Media, to be his chief strategist, and Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, to be his chief of staff. The two appointments represent the dramatically different strains of the Republican Party. While Reince Priebus is the long-standing head of the party, Stephen Bannon is a leader of the insurgent far right-wing “alt-right” movement, which has been widely criticized for being a haven for white nationalists. While running Breitbart Media, the outlet regularly sparked controversy with headlines such as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” or “Trannies Whine About Hilarious Bruce Jenner Billboard” and “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.” Bannon himself has faced questions about domestic abuse and anti-Semitic comments. He was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness. A Santa Monica, California, police report said Bannon grabbed his wife at the time, Mary Louise Piccard, “by the throat and arm” and threatened to leave with the couple’s twin daughters. Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were dropped later that year when Piccard did not appear in court. Piccard claimed in divorce proceedings that Bannon pressured her not to testify. Piccard also said in a sworn 2007 court filing that Bannon made anti-Semitic comments when the two argued over whether to send their daughters to a private school. According to one document, Piccard talked about Bannon’s feelings toward Jews, saying, “He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”

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