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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Trump adviser Steve Bannon becomes ‘the story’
    2016-November-18  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist has sent a shudder through the Washington establishment.

    Labeled a bigoted extremist by critics, the 62-year-old executive chairman of conservative news platform Breitbart — on leave to work for Trump — is also being accused by a Democratic group of receiving illegal payments from a super PAC during the presidential campaign.

    Bannon was, in the words of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, the “general” behind his victory and a “brilliant tactician.”

    Bannon was seen as the intellectual driver behind the campaign’s decision to rail against a “global power structure” opposed to American values — a favorite theme of nationalist conspiracy-mongers.

    Trump’s camp, however, reject any suggestion that Bannon is a bigoted extremist.

    “Frankly, people should look at the full resume,” Conway told reporters Monday, emphasizing Bannon’s record as a former naval officer, Goldman Sachs managing partner and Hollywood producer.

    But it was Bannon’s record at Breitbart that brought him to the Trump campaign — and it is that record that is under scrutiny now that he has a key role in the West Wing, in daily contact with Trump.

    Rights group the Anti-Defamation League describes Breitbart as the “premier website of the Alt Right — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.”

    The Democratic Coalition Against Trump has reported Bannon to the FBI, saying that he broke campaign finance laws when the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Number 1 paid US$950,090 to Bannon’s company, Glittering Steel, PoliticusUSA.com reported Tuesday.

    An FEC filing was brought to the public attention Monday by The Daily Beast, which reported that a complaint was made Oct. 6 by the Campaign Legal Center to the Federal Election Commission stating that Republican donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer paid Bannon for his work on the Trump campaign.

    Bannon was named CEO of Trump’s campaign in August, a role for which he was not paid an official salary, according to FEC filings.

    However, the latest filings obtained by the Campaign Legal Center cover the weeks up until Nov. 5, and they show that the Mercers-funded super PAC paid Glittering Steel US$187,500 during that time.

    According to the Daily Beast, among the payments were five checks made from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5: one for US$40,500, one for US$50,000, one for US$37,500, one for US$34,500, and one for US$25,000. The full list of alleged payments are listed here, according to the watchdog group.

    “It is against campaign finance law for super PACs to directly coordinate with the campaigns they support, so Bannon’s role as both an employee of the super PAC and campaign CEO would have broken the law,” the complaint states.

    “Additionally, there is a 120-day ‘cooling off’ period for employees once they leave a super PAC to join a campaign to help avoid coordination, which Bannon would have violated when he became Trump’s campaign CEO just nine days after being paid by Make America Number 1.”

    According to leading civil rights watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

    The so-called Alt Right is a diffuse movement that rejects the mainstream conservatism of the Republican Party and what it sees as the political correctness of the media and political elite.

    Breitbart is a favorite Alt Right news source and Monday, its top trending story — with 1,000 comments per hour — was “Trump names Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist.”

    Alt Right supporters were concerned that Trump had chosen Republican insider Reince Priebus as his chief of staff but reassured that Bannon would be on hand to prevent a swing towards moderation.

    “‘Strategist’ is the best possible position for Steve Bannon in the Trump White House,” gloated Richard Spencer, president of the so-called National Policy Institute and a star of the Alt Right movement.

    The NPI is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States” and Spencer marked Trump’s victory last week by tweeting: “The Alt Right just won!”

    Trump does not publicly associate himself with the Alt Right and an outraged Conway was “personally offended” at the idea that she or any of the roughly 60 million Trump voters would support its ideas.

    Trump’s new chief of staff, Reince Priebus, did a string of television interviews Monday, but took almost as many questions about Bannon.

    “That’s not the Steve Bannon that I know and I’ve spent a lot of time with him,” Priebus said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “And here’s a guy who’s a Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, (and) 10-year Naval officer advising admirals. He was a force for good on the campaign at every level that I saw, all the time.”

    But Bannon’s reputation was well known when Trump chose him as his right-hand man, and the president-elect’s opponents were quick to condemn the appointment as a sop to dangerous bigots.

    A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said: “President-elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House.”

    Some conservatives were also offended.

    Political consultant John Weaver, who worked on the defeated presidential runs of Senator John McCain in 2000 and 2008 and Governor John Kasich this year, warned: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office.”

    And defeated outsider candidate Evan McMullin demanded that national conservative leaders condemn the appointment of an “anti-Semite.”

    Many analysts see Trump as picking from different sides of the Republican coalition. Priebus represented the party establishment as chairman of the Republican National Committee, while Bannon became a leader of a more aggressive conservatism that opposed various trade and immigration policies.

    Critics have also pointed to testimony submitted during Bannon’s child custody battle with his ex-wife, as reported in the New York Daily News, which allege he did not want his daughters going to a school with “too many Jews.”

    Bannon’s first marriage was to Cathleen Houff Jordan. They had a daughter, Maureen. Following their divorce, Bannon married former investment banker Mary Louise Piccard in April 1995. Their twin daughters were born three days later. After Piccard and Bannon divorced in 1997, Bannon married Diane Clohesy. That marriage also ended in divorce in 2009.

    Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996, after Piccard accused Bannon of domestic abuse. The charges were later dropped when his now ex-wife did not show up to court.

    During the divorce proceedings, Piccard also stated that Bannon had made antisemitic remarks about choice of schools, saying that he did not want to send his children to The Archer School for Girls because Jews raise their children to be “whiny brats.” Bannon’s spokesperson denied the accusation, noting that he had chosen to send both his children to the Archer School.

    After making his name at Goldman Sachs during the 1980s boom years, Bannon founded his own investment bank before selling it to Societe Generale in 1998 and going on to be a Hollywood producer.

    Some of his projects were standard entertainment fare, but political documentaries that he produced on late president Ronald Reagan, populist darling Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement brought him into right-wing circles.

    He became an investor in Andrew Breitbart’s eponymous media venture — focused around a site designed to buck what its founder saw as the progressive left’s grip on the news agenda.

    Democrats and liberals were in the site’s crosshairs, but mainstream Republican lawmakers also felt its lash, accused of failing to stand up strongly enough to President Barack Obama.

    Breitbart died in 2012 and Bannon took over. The site, which had been the ultimate outsider force, latched on to the Trump phenomenon and helped drive its figurehead to the White House.

    Now, on the threshold of the Oval Office and with a mandate from Trump to “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption, the ultimate outsider will become one of the most powerful insiders on the planet.

    (SD-Agencies)

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