A series of one-on-one interviews last year between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump offer some hints –and some troubling clues — about how the two men will work together in the White House.
Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, spoke to Bannon several times between November 2015 and June 2016 on Breitbart News Daily, which airs on SiriusXM satellite radio’s “Patriot” channel.
The Washington Post examined about two hours of conversation between Trump and Bannon, whom he hired in August as his campaign chairman and then tapped this week as his chief strategist.
The newspaper found Bannon, who turned Breitbart News into a platform for the “alt-right,” used flattery and subtle manipulation to coax Trump into agreeing with his viewpoints on climate change, foreign policy or confronting other Republicans.
One exchange highlighted Bannon’s views on non-whites.
Trump, who has vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, had expressed concern last November for foreign students who have to return home from Ivy League schools due to immigration laws.
“We have to be careful of that, Steve. You know, we have to keep our talented people in this country,” Trump said.
He then paused, and Bannon said, “Um.”
“I think you agree with that,” Trump said. “Do you agree with that?”
Bannon paused for a moment.
“When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think,” Bannon said, but did not finish his sentence. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
Bannon disagreed with Trump on allowing highly educated foreign students who graduate from American colleges and universities to be allowed to go through the immigration process and stay in the U.S.
“You got to remember, we’re Breitbart,” he told Trump. “We’re the know-nothing vulgarians. So we’ve always got to be to the right of you on this.”