Listen To Steve Bannon Defending The Racist Alt-Right One Week Before Joining Trump Campaign

In a meeting today with The New York Times, President-elect Donald Trump reportedly said that he disavowed the white nationalist Alt-Right movement, saying, “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

If Trump is wondering why he energized the racist Alt-Right, he doesn’t need to look very far. Steve Bannon, who is set to become Trump’s top White House adviser after serving as CEO of his presidential campaign, joined the campaign after leading Breitbart, a conservative news outlet that he proudly called “the platform for the Alt-Right.”

In fact, just seven days before joining Trump’s campaign, Bannon was enthusiastically defending the racist movement on his SiriusXM program “Breitbart News Daily.”

On August 10, Bannon invited Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopolous to discuss “another brilliant piece” Yiannopolous had recently written for the outlet in defense of the Alt-Right, this one attacking House Speaker Paul Ryan for criticizing the movement.

Bannon said of Ryan, “In a radio interview, he starts talking about this new brand of conservatism that’s starting to rise out of this kind of populist, nationalist movement, which is called Alt-Right, driven, really, by young people, right, young people, young activists. And he went right to the left-wing playbook. Walk us through what happened.”

“It’s interesting that his instinctive, his knee-jerk, his first response was immediately to dismiss them as a nationalist, white nationalist, all that stuff,” Yiannopolous responded. “What is really happening is this: The Trump phenomenon wasn’t created by Trump. Trump has taken advantage of frustration with globalism and globalization, frustration with open borders, frustration with wages being depressed, frustration with law and order … and in addition to that, concerns about freedom of speech, about western culture being preserved from immigration from certain bits of the world, and the total rejection of political correctness. These things have sort of congealed to become something that we now call the Alt-Right. And that represents at least half of the Republican base, and probably a lot more than that.”

Claiming that “a lot of those characteristics are shared by Bernie supporters,” Yiannopolous said that the Alt-Right is “sort of a young, mischievous, dissident, anti-establishment strain of politics that represents a huge proportion of Republican voters.”

Bannon then pointed to a Twitter post from former Obama strategist David Plouffe about the need to “destroy” Trump and his movement.

“A big part of this movement,” Bannon said, “the philosophy underneath this populist, nationalist [movement] is this Alt-Right.”

Trump doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. Another report from today’s Times meeting: