Over the weekend, President Donald Trump quietly added his White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as a top official of the National Security Council. Bannon has been a controversial pick for a Trump administration cabinet member from the start.
The former Breitbart editor has promoted the “alt-right,” a fringe right-wing movement that embraces authoritarianism, white nationalism and anti-feminism. Bannon referred to Breitbart last August as “the platform for the alt-right.”
A few years back, Bannon made a speech at an international conference in which he essentially called for a Christian holy war, AlterNet reports. During his remarks at the Vatican in 2014, he declared to the crowd, “We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict,” adding that “We are in an outright war against jihadists, Islam, Islamic fascism.”
Bannon warned members of the audience:
We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.
You can hear some of his remarks below.
— Jessika Jayne (@JessikaJayne) January 29, 2017
Now that Bannon has been offered a top seat on the National Security Council, he will also have a role in some of the most sensitive operations facing the nation. He will also have access to sensitive intelligence.
Bannon has also been an actor behind many of the executive orders that the Trump administration has rolled out in its first week, including a push toward repealing Obamacare, and preventing immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority from entering the U.S.
“He’s telling Trump that he can do everything he said he would do on the campaign trail,” a source close to the Trump administration told Politico. Bannon’s expansive role in the White House is cause for concern, considering his positions in regards to the white, Christian “Western” world.
During his remarks at the Vatican, he claimed, “the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis.” He explained, “It is really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world — principally in the West, but we’re expanding internationally — to let people understand the depths of this crisis.”
You can read the full transcript of his speech here, via BuzzFeed News.