Steve Bannon
Steven Bannon, chief strategist to President Donald Trump, stands in Washington, D.C., on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2017. Critics have accused Bannon of harboring anti-Semitic and white nationalist sentiments. Under Bannon's leadership, his Breitbart website presented a number of conspiracy theories about Trump's Democratic rival in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, as well as Republicans deemed to be lacking in conservative bona fides. Reuters

President Donald Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon has been the subject of increased scrutiny from editorial boards and even television comedy shows in recent weeks.

A founding member and former editor of Breitbart News, a far-right online publication with headlines that have included “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy,” and “Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler and renegade Jew,” the New York Times' editorial board recently stated that it has "never witnessed a political aide move as brazenly to consolidate power as Stephen Bannon," while Saturday Night Live has portrayed him as the Grim Reaper.

In a political and social media environment where it has become increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction (or “alternative facts,” as the case may be), Bannon has been accused of using Trump as an instrument to execute his own agenda. He was one of the writers of the widely criticized executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. It was the beginning of a “radical experiment” on Bannon’s behalf “to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Bannon has also been accused of domestic violence and anti-semitic sentiments by his ex-wife, though he has denied those claims.

After it was announced that Bannon was added to the National Security Council's principals committee, a controversial Bannon quote once again made the rounds: “I'm a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment.” The remark comes from an August editorial in The Daily Beast, in which writer Ronald Radosh recounted Bannon’s comments from 2013. The quote has not been confirmed by Bannon and he claims to not remember the conversation.

Still, Bannon has also caused a stir with many of his on-the-record quotes.

Bannon On Political Power

"Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. It only helps us when they (the media) get it wrong. When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing." — to the Hollywood Reporter, November 2016

Bannon On The Republican Establishment

“What we need to do is bitch-slap the Republican Party.” — from a 2010 radio interview

Bannon On Trump

Trump is a "blunt instrument for us" — us, referring to Breitbart and the populist movement — "I don’t know whether he really gets it or not." — to Vanity Fair, August 2016

Bannon On Breitbart

"We call ourselves ‘the Fight Club.’ You don’t come to us for warm and fuzzy. We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-’ the permanent political class. We say Paul Ryan was grown in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation." — to the Washington Post, January 2016

Bannon On The Media

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this. 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." — to the New York Times, January 2017

Bannon On Progressives

"The progressive narrative Saturday morning was the progressive narrative and that is all about victimhood. They’re either a victim of race. They’re victim of their sexual preference. They’re a victim of gender. All about victimhood and the United States is the great oppressor, not the great liberator." — from a 2011 interview, as reported by Buzzfeed

Bannon On The Alt-Right

"We're the platform for the alt-right," and "Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe.

"Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements." — speaking to Mother Jones, August 2016

Bannon On Feminism

"That’s one of the unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement – that, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be feminine, they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn't be a bunch of dykes." — on his film "The Undefeated" about conservative women, originally said in 2010, and dug back up in 2016

Bannon On Occupy Wall Street Protesters

"After making the Occupy movie, when you finish watching the film, you want to take a hot shower. You want to go home and shower because you’ve just spent an hour and 15 minutes with the greasiest, dirtiest people you will ever see." — on his film "Occupy Unmasked," October 2012