Steve Bannon, a man who has been endorsed by former KKK leader and known white supremacist David Duke, has finally denounced white supremacy. Well, sort of.
In a new interview with The American Prospect, Bannon, "dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it," wrote the author Robert Kuttner. Basically, Bannon is pretending like he hasn't helped the cause of white nationalism all along by all of a sudden reproaching it.
Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.
These guys are a collection of clowns.
It seems important to note that Googling "ethno-nationalism" brings up a photo of Steve Bannon. He is literally the dictionary definition of ethno-nationalism.
In the aftermath of Friday's white supremacy rally, many Americans were deeply disappointed in Donald Trump for waiting two days to denounce white supremacists by name. Many took to Twitter to express the irony of Steve Bannon doing a better job of denouncing white supremacy than Trump, as well as the irony of him denouncing white ethno-nationalism at all, since he has been associated with it in the the past.
Steve Bannon had his assistant request a meeting from Kuttner earlier this week, as Bannon wanted to discuss policies regarding China with him. "I’ve followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it," he told Kuttner during their phone conversation.
Bannon then proceeded to elaborate on his thoughts regarding China and North Korea—which, Kuttner points out, contradict Trump's:
There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us...
To me...the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover.
As further explained by Slate, Trump has previously expressed antithetical views regarding China and North Korea. With Bannon's job (supposedly) on the line, could he have chosen to express these views in hopes of Trump cutting him loose by uttering his two favorite words?