CEO of Republican presidential nominee
Donald Trump campaign Stephen Bannon is pictured during a meeting
with Trumpâ€™s Hispanic Advisory Council at Trump
Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., August 20, 2016.
When Donald Trumpâ€™s campaign announced that
Steve Bannon, of Breitbart News notoriety, had joined the team as
CEO, it was a striking development in its own right. With this
staffing move, the Republican presidential hopeful had taken an
alarming step in giving the far-right fringe a leadership role on
the GOPâ€™s national ticket.
But the specific details surrounding Bannon matter, too.
show, for example, that Trumpâ€™s campaign CEO was
arrested and charged with domestic violence 20 years ago
â€“ prosecutors ultimately had to drop the charges
when Bannonâ€™s then-wife failed to show up for
testimony â€“ and was accused of making
anti-Semitic comments, which he denies having said.
New controversies continue to emerge. BuzzFeed reported
overnight, for example,
that Bannon and a former colleague were also
â€œaccused of sexual harassment in a 1990s court
The suit was related to Bannonâ€™s time as
director of Biosphere 2, a research facility located in Oracle,
Arizona, that aimed to simulate the surface of
Marsâ€¦. The suit, filed by Biosphere
2â€™s former director Margret Augustine, named
[Texas billionaire Edward Bass, the projectâ€™s
financial backer] as the primary defendant. Bannon and a fellow
banker, Martin Bowen, were also named and accused of having acted
as his agents. [â€¦]
[T]he most explosive allegations were that Bannon and Bowen,
had made sexually suggestive remarks and lewd remarks toward her,
and had disparaged female employees of the research facility.
Bannon and Bowen have denied any wrongdoing.
BuzzFeed also reported yesterday on anti-gay slurs Bannon used
during an on-air interview in 2011.
Noting the series of allegations,Â The New
Republicâ€™s Eric Kleefeld made the case the
other day that Trump hiring Bannon â€œmight go
down as the worst campaign hire of all time.â€
Thereâ€™s probably some truth to that, but
thereâ€™s also a larger context to consider: did
Team Trump fully appreciate just who they were bringing on board as
the campaignâ€™s CEO?
The New York Times explained over the weekend,
â€œDonald J. Trump has called for
â€˜extreme vettingâ€™ to
determine who is allowed to enter the United States, but when it
comes to his presidential campaign, he has shown a propensity to be
lenient when it comes to the kinds of red flags that might scare
off other candidates.â€
We may never know for sure, but it seems there are two root
questions for Trump to consider: (1) Did he or his team do any
research whatsoever on Bannon before making him the
campaignâ€™s chief executive officer? (2) Would
Trump have hired him anyway, despite the controversies?