Stephen Bannon: The Man Tasked With Putting Donald Trump in the White House

Who is Stephen Bannon? The in-depth look into Donald Trump's new campaign chief executive

The billionaire has brought him on board in the closing months of the US presidential election

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stephen Bannon. He's the latest member of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, brought in as part of a shake-up following a decline in the polls. 

But who is he? What does he do, and how is he afflliated to the UK? 

Well, the first thing you need to know about the billionaire's new campaign chief executive is that he's a very successful man. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, the young man from a working-class family rose through the academic ranks, graduating from Virginia Tech to later achieve a masters degree from Georgetown University. He later acheived a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard.

A millionaire, he's worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, become an executive producer in Hollywood, and served as a naval officer, so he's a tough cookie. He's dipped into radio, with his voice hitting the airwaves of Sirius XM every weekday from 6 am to 9 am, and is now the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart - a conservative American news and opinion website.

Breitbart will be particularly interesting to UK readers, given it's ties with the UK Independence Party. The site's UK editor-in-chief (and former Bannon protege), Raheem Kassam, worked for Ukip during the 2015 election, serving as Nigel Farage's adviser. Farage writes regular opinion pieces for Breitbart and has been interviewed extensively by Bannon. Following the UK's EU referendum, Farage personally thanked Breitbart News Daily - the website's radio programme - for being fair to him and his party.

Farage said: "And can I just say a massive thanks to Breitbart, on both sides of the pond? Because you guys have been fair with me, and given me a chance to make my arguments. I thank you guys very much indeed for that."

Breitbart, Ukip and right-wing politics might not be to everyone's taste, but it's undeniable that Bannon is a skilled political player, one who has been at the side of several key conservative figureheads. He's been the ultimate advisor, whispering advice and exercising a high degree of influence without overtly stating his power. 

When the political fame of Sarah Palin was rising, Bannon was behind her, advising her. When Donald Trump launched his presidency bid, Bannon built up his visit to the border of Mexico - after he'd made his wall comment - and rarely posts anything negative about the Republican candidate. Last year, Bannon and his associates whipped up a political storm leading up to John Boehner's resignation as the speaker of the House of Representatives. Many believe Boehner stepped down due to Bannon's pressure. Last year business news agency Bloomberg described Bannon "the most dangerous political operative in America."

Bannon's got a new target now, and Hillary Clinton has reason to worry. This game's down to the last few moves, and a dangerous new power player has entered the ring.