President Trump’s chief White House strategist Steve Bannon said the “media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” during an interview on Wednesday with the New York Times.
“I want you to quote this,” Bannon said, according to the Times. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Bannon, who ran right-wing organization Breitbart News until joining Trump’s team, said during the phone interview that news organizations have been “humiliated.”
Tension between the media and Trump’s team has been tense, with the president recently referring to CNN as “fake news,” BuzzFeed as a “failing pile of garbage” and constantly pointing stories related to inauguration attendance that doesn’t coincide with Trump’s talking points.
Bannon rarely grants interviews and was seldom heard from during the campaign, although his tone is clear in a lot of Trump’s rhetoric. Bannon granted the interview with the Times to discuss Press Secretary Sean Spicer, but used the call as an opportunity to bash the mainstream media.
“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Bannon told the Times of the election. “The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign… Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.”
“That’s why you have no power,” Bannon told the Times, referring to the media. “You were humiliated.”
Bannon is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker known for his conservative views. When he was named CEO of Trump’s campaign in August, social media immediately went wild, accusing him of being racist and anti-Semitic.
Bannon’s ex-wife said in a 2007 divorce filing that he made anti-Semitic comments and didn’t want to send their daughters to a private Los Angeles girls school with Jews (which Bannon denied).
Bannon is also a former Naval officer and was special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon who holds an MBA from Harvard.