When Donald Trump appointed Stephen K. Bannon to be his new campaign manager in August, heads rolled due to Bannon’s record of “alt-right” propaganda promotion.
But when Trump named the same person to be his administration’s chief strategist and senior counselor on November 13, though? That’s when the proverbial feces hit the fan.
Bannon isn’t just the former president of rightwing news site Breitbart, and isn’t just known for the anti-feminine statements he regularly issued over the last three months in the campaign, and is not just known for his membership in a racist-leaning “think tank,” either. Bannon has also been accused of beating his now ex-wife.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Bannon was arrested in January 1996 on charges of domestic violence, witness intimidation and battery after then-wife Diane Clohesy called 911. Arguments between the two “became physical” over the previous four years, she told police.
Charges were dropped when Clohesy didn’t show up to testify in Bannon’s trial; however, she had just been offered a sweet deal in divorce settlement, which Clohesy accepted that year.
And that’s where Bannon’s questionability takes another turn. The terms of their divorce require Bannon to pay rent for Clohesy’s choice of residence, which have been in Florida – across the country from the California home she shared with Bannon – since that divorce. And even though he still lives in a West Coast home, Bannon registered to vote in each Florida address he’s rented for his ex-wife.
In Florida, submission of false information on voter registration forms is a third-degree felony.
And just as Trump reeked of misogyny throughout his campaign, so too has Bannon, who published articles on Breitbart with titles like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews.”
In a 2011 personal interview, Bannon referred to liberal women as “a bunch of dykes” who only try to victimize themselves. Instead, he offered, women should simply marry and have children.
And shortly after Trump named Bannon as his campaign manager – the third one in his presidential campaign – Southern Poverty Law Center came across other negative information: Bannon is a member of the secretive Council for National Policy organization.
This Council, which SPLC classifies as a “hate group,” promotes totalitarian concepts such as voter restriction, and most commonly addresses issues from an Islamophobic and homophobic standpoint.
This appointment should also leave GOP officials at unease. At an October 11 campaign meeting, Bannon was recorded saying he wanted to “bitch-slap the Republican Party. […] And – if we have to, we’ll take it over.”
But despite all this negativity, Bannon is now the right-hand man of the next President of the United States.
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