Stephen Kevin Bannon, an "alt-right" conservative from Norfolk, Virginia, was Donald Trump's chief strategist and senior counselor. His role in the administration was announced on November 14; prior to the election, he served as the Trump campaign's CEO. Before taking that role in August 2016, Bannon, 63, was the executive chair of Breitbart, a far-right news and opinion website. He returned to that position after he was ousted in August 2017.
As chief strategist, Bannon was tasked with selling Trump’s large fiscal package to Congress. He saw the low-interest rate environment as an opportunity for the U.S. to borrow cheaply. "I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan," Bannon said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. "With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything."
Bannon's appointment was a potent symbol of Trump's stances on immigration, fiscal spending and the "anti-establishment" movement. He represented Trump's populist base at the White House and reportedly lobbied for a new 44 percent top marginal tax rate for people who earn more than $5 million a year, with the revenue paying for tax cuts for the rest.
During his tenure at Breitbart, Bannon was accused of racism, sexism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. In June, for example, Breitbart published an article associating migrants with the spread of diseases that were close to eradication. In a Wall Street Journal interview shortly after the election, he rebuffed claims that the website was racist, saying, "Our definition of the alt-right is younger people who are anti-globalists, very nationalist, terribly anti-establishment."
After graduating from Virginia Tech, Bannon served as a U.S. Navy officer in the late 1970s and early 1980s, then worked as an investment banker in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (GS) mergers and acquisitions department. He subsequently worked as a Hollywood producer before co-founding Breitbart Media with Andrew Breitbart, who described Bannon to a Bloomberg reporter as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement – an apparently complimentary reference to a Nazi propagandist.