Trump’s staunchest supporters called the hiring of Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon as the new chief executive for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign “an inspired choice” and “fantastic news” after the move was reported. Elsewhere, the decision has been called “insanity,” with former Breitbart News employees disparaging the relationship between Trump and Breitbart News as “pathetic and disgusting.”
Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart News’ Stephen Bannon As Its Campaign Chief Executive
The Wall Street Journal: Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon And GOP Pollster Kellyanne Conway To Manage Campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hired Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon and GOP pollster and political commentator Kellyanne Conway to lead his campaign. The Journal reported that Bannon’s hire is “likely to stir its own controversy” because Bannon leads a “freewheeling populist news site” that caters to Trump supporters. According to the August 17 article, Bannon will take a leave of absence from his Breitbart News position:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is bringing two new managers to the top of his campaign in a bid to recover ground he has lost in recent weeks.
Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, an outspoken Trump supporter and a former Goldman Sachs banker, will assume the new position of campaign chief executive. At the same time, Mr. Trump also is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist, to become campaign manager. Ms. Conway has been a campaign adviser for several weeks.
The appointment of Mr. Bannon is likely to stir its own controversy. Breitbart News, which he runs, is a freewheeling populist news site that has served as a kind of platform for Trump supporters. He has, among other things, helped produce a movie about the personal wealth of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Trump has known Mr. Bannon, a former Naval officer, for years. Mr. Bannon will take a leave of absence from Breitbart. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/16]
Trump Defenders Praise Bannon’s Hiring: “This Is Fantastic News”
Alex Jones: Bannon Is A “Patriot” And “Anti-Globalist,” And Under Him Breitbart News “Really Tells It Like It Is.” Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist radio host, 9/11 truther, and Trump supporter, praised Bannon’s hiring, calling him a “patriot” and “anti-globalist” under whose tenure Breitbart News has “gotten more hardcore” and “really tells it like it is about the true nature of what’s happening, that this is a globalist New World Order takeover program.” From the August 17 edition of The Alex Jones Show:
ALEX JONES (HOST): We also have, obviously, massive news dealing with the Trump campaign, with the chairman and head of Breitbart, Stephen Bannon, who is a patriot and who is an anti-globalist, taking over as the CEO/chairman of the entire campaign.
Paul Manafort, who has also been doing a great job, is going to be staying on in the position he’s at right now. This is just an expansion of the campaign in Bannon’s own words and in Manafort’s own words. And I talked to Roger Stone, he concurs with that and said that he was also part of the research and trying to bring the head of Breitbart, who also heads up the institute dealing with government corruption, fighting government corruption. He’s the co-founder and executive chairman of Government Accountability Institute and the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC.
You’ve noticed since he’s been running Breitbart it’s gotten more hardcore, more pro-Second Amendment -- not that it was ever bad, and really tells it like it is about the true nature of what’s happening, that this is a globalist New World Order takeover program.
I mean, we have the emails from the U.N., we have the emails from the normal cast of characters like George Soros. We know what’s going on, and just because the old mainstream media calls us conspiracy theorist when we cover facts, doesn’t mean we should then bow down to them.
And that’s why they’re calling him a street fighter, a brawler. The media is scared of this move because Manafort’s pretty hardcore but not compared to Trump.
Obviously you get Stephen Bannon and these other folks. [Genesis Communication Network, The Alex Jones Show, 8/17/16]
Roger Stone: Bannon Is “An Enormously Capable Guy With Great Political Instincts.” Stone appeared on the August 17 edition of WIOD’s Fernand Amandi Show and praised the hirings of Bannon and Conway, stating: “Steve Bannon’s a very good friend of mine. I write for Breitbart, as you know. He’s an enormously capable guy with great political instincts.” Stone added he was “in favor of these additions. I have spoken in favor of them internally over the last couple days.” [WIOD, Fernand Amandi Show, 8/17/16]
Pamela Geller: “This Is Fantastic News,” Bannon Is “An Inspired Choice” For Trump Campaign. Discredited anti-Muslim conservative blogger Pamela Geller wrote that Bannon’s hiring “is fantastic news” and “brilliant,” adding, “I know Steve Bannon. It's an inspired choice”:
I know Steve Bannon. It’s an inspired choice.
Andrew Breitbart is cheering from heaven.
Brilliant. Steve Bannon is a warrior. He has long understood that this is a war in the information battle-space (something the right has failed to grasp, despite the left’s smear machine against those with whom they disagree.) The media is out to destroy Donald Trump. Trump needs a champion, a “Patton,” a Bannon.
This is fantastic news. Heads are exploding on the left. [PamelaGeller.com, 8/17/16]
CNN’s Corey Lewandowski: The Trump Campaign Bringing In Bannon “Is A Clear Indication” That Trump “Wants To Win ... At All Costs.” CNN commentator and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski praised the hiring of Bannon, calling it “a clear indication” that “you've got a candidate who wants to win,” adding that Bannon has a “win at all costs” mentality. From the August 17 edition of CNN’s New Day:
CHRIS CUOMO (HOST): Corey Lewandowski. Bringing in Bannon, Breitbart, Citizens United, doing things with Dave Bossie there, ad work. This guy makes [Paul] Manafort look like a puppy, makes you look like a kitten. Breitbart has writers who call CNN Hitler. They are the most ham-fisted, fringe, fight, fight, fight -- say whatever you have to say. Bringing him into the campaign, a surprise to you?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI: No, I think what you have is you've got a candidate who wants to win. This is a clear indication of that. If you look at Stephen Bannon, and what they built at Breitbart, it's win at all costs. I think that makes some people on the left very afraid because they're willing to say and do things that others in the mainstream media wouldn't do. They've attacked the mainstream media on multiple occasions. And so what they are willing to say and do, I think right now that's the type of mindset the campaign wants to prove to the Clinton people, that they're going to take this fight directly to her, and that's what he's going to bring to the campaign. [CNN, New Day, 8/17/16]
Ed Rollins: Bannon And Conway “Are Great Additions” And “I Find It All Very Positive.” On Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show Kilmeade and Friends, pro-Trump super PAC strategist Ed Rollins praised the addition of Bannon to the Trump campaign, saying “Steve obviously is a guy who understands digital, understands messaging,” adding that he finds the hiring additions to be “all very positive.” From the August 17 edition of Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade and Friends:
ED ROLLINS: I thought both speeches were good speeches. I think the change in leadership, adding Kellyanne, who I’ve known for a long time, and Steve Bannon are great additions. This campaign has to get running full speed, and I think they realized it wasn’t quite there yet. So I find it all very positive.
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): Do you view this as a demotion for Manafort?
ROLLINS: No, I think Manafort can still basically be the chairman, a television spokesperson, what have you. I think any campaign needs to sometimes expand and add to the leadership team. Obviously the style is different, I assume. But these are two professionals that have been very moderate.
My sense is Steve obviously is a guy who understands digital, and understands messaging, and Kellyanne’s one of the better professionals that I know and I’ve worked with in the past. [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade and Friends, 8/17/16]
Rudy Giuliani: Hiring Of Bannon And Conway “Is A Good Thing.” Fox regular Rudy Giuliani argued on Fox News’ Fox & Friends that the addition of Bannon and Conway to the Trump campaign “is a good thing” because “it’s about management and making sure you have the right number of people in place to manage an organization that has grown dramatically.” Giuliani also compared the hiring to Ronald Reagan’s hiring of Jim Baker, claiming “that turned out to be the thing that turned the campaign around.” From the August 17 edition of Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Guy by the name of Steve Bannon taking a leave from Breitbart to be the campaign chief executive. Pollster Kellyanne Conway is going to be his campaign manager. Paul Manafort stays in place. What’s going on?
RUDY GIULIANI: More people. The campaign is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. A lot of people think he has no organization. Good, I like them to think that. The reality is I've now traveled to a number of states with Donald, and I’ve seen the organization that he has, and it’s a real --
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Are people upset with Manafort? Is that why he's getting some help at the top? Maybe this strategy isn’t working after the last month?
GIULIANI: I don't think it's about strategy. I think it's about management and making sure you have the right number of people in place to manage an organization that has grown dramatically. This organization is probably -- I wasn’t there for most of the primaries, so I can’t tell you.
KILMEADE: But it was a bad month, Mr. Mayor, and you do make changes, every team makes changes --
GIULIANI: Oh no, this is a good thing. This is what Ronald Reagan did when he brought Jim Baker in. Jim Baker had been his opponent’s -- it would be like him bringing Ted Cruz’s campaign manager in. And that turned out to be the thing that turned the campaign around, or helped to turn it around. The main thing is -- forget the staff. The staff is enormously important, the most important thing is the candidate, and Donald Trump had two tremendous days. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/17/16]
Media Figures Have Slammed Bannon’s “Nightmare” New Role In Trump Campaign
Media Figures Appalled After Trump Campaign Hires Bannon As Campaign CEO. Media figures across the political spectrum expressed shock after reports that Donald Trump hired Bannon and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway to help head his campaign. Reporters said the hire makes the relationship between Trump and Breitbart News “official” and labeled the move “insanity.” Several conservative media figures said the relationship between Trump and Bannon betrayed the legacy of Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart, and former Breitbart News employees castigated the hiring, calling out the “pathetic and disgusting” relationship between Breitbart News and the Trump campaign and calling for greater scrutiny of Bannon’s leadership at Breitbart News and his relationship with Trump. [Media Matters, 8/17/16, 8/17/16, 8/17/16]