Vatnik Soup
Soup number174
Date11.5.2023
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Vatnik’s professionPolitical analyst
Vatnik’s country of originUSA
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Steve Bannon

In today's #vatniksoup, I'll introduce an American political analyst and media executive, Steve Bannon.

He's best-known for being Trump's chief strategist, "flooding the zone with shit", and for attempting to unite far-right, pro-Putin political parties around Europe.

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Bannon worked as an officer in the US Navy in the late 70s and early 80s, after which he worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He's also produced several Hollywood movies between 1991 and 2016. In 1980,Bannon was deployed to assist with the Operation Eagle Claw...
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.., a failed effort to save 52 embassy staff members from Tehran ordered by Jimmy Carter. In a 2015 interview, Steve stated that this marked a turning point in his political stance, turning him into a "Reaganite". This ideology of a battle between "good and evil" can be...

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clearly seen in his rhetoric. He's also been influenced by the so-called Fourth Turning theory which predicts that we are entering a phase where populism, nationalism and state-run authoritarianism will be on the rise around the world.

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In 2007, Bannon was a founding member of the website Breitbart News,later describing it as "the platform for the alt-right".Time journalist Philip Elliott said that the site pushes "racist, sexist, xenophobic and antisemitic material into the vein of the alternative right".

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Former editor of Breitbart, Ben Shapiro, called Steve a "bully" who "sold out" the website's original idea to back up Trump. In 2018, Breitbart funders Robert & Rebekah Mercer got rid of him,allegedly due to his "impulsive and attention-seeking antics" and high expenditures.
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Bannon served in the board of Cambridge Analytics, acting as its vice president. This company was also owned by the Mercer family, and it allegedly deployed illegal tactics in targeting US voters in the 2016 presidential election. Former Analytica employee, Christopher...

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...Wylie, has claimed that Bannon oversaw the collection of data from Facebook. He called the company a "psychological warfare tool".

Bannon's probably best-known for his work as a chief strategist for Donald Trump. Few days after Trump's inauguration, Bannon told the...

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...NYT that "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".

Bannon was interviewed on several occasions by Robert Mueller as part of his investigation...

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...on the Russian interference in the 2016 US election. In Nov 2019, he gave evidence against Roger Stone, saying that Stone was Wikileaks' access point for the Trump campaign, and he was subsequently convicted on all charges, only to be pardoned by Trump.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee also looked into his activities and connections to George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, who both played a role in the Russian interference in the 2016 US election. In Aug 2020 members of the senate intelligence committee said that they...

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believed that Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Don Trump Jr. may have misled them with their testimonies. Bannon later said that he considered the meeting between Don Jr., Kushner, Paul Manafort and the Russian officials "treasonous". He also said that investigators will likely..
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..uncover money laundering activities that involve Jared Kushner and Deutsche Bank. He's called the Trump business a "criminal enterprise". Bannon himself was arrested in Aug 2020 and was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering - Bannon & others...
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...collected money to build a wall at the US-Mexico border, and allegedly made payments to themselves instead. Prosecutors alleged that Steve got more than 1 000 000 million USD in connection with this plan.

Trump pardoned Bannon in Jan 2021.

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Steve has adopted the Russian "firehose of falsehood" propaganda style, calling it "flood the zone with shit". He's stated that "We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall. This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls."

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The Economist has stated that Bannon (along with political analyst Stephen Miller) sees Putin as a "fellow nationalist & crusader against cosmopolitanism". He's said that Putin is "standing up for traditional institutions, and he's trying to do it in a form of nationalism".
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He's also a fan of Alexander Dugin, a Russian political strategist, whom he allegedly met in Rome in 2018. He's cited Dugin on various occasions, and has described himself as a fan of his 2009 book The Fourth Political Theory.

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The book has been referred as an inspiration for Russian foreign policy, including the war in Donbas.

Bannon's described Putin's invasion of Ukraine as a "border dispute" and "a Slavic fist fist on the eastern border of Ukraine".

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During 2018, Bannon formed a foundation called The Movement, where he tried to unite right-wing populist parties around Europe. He visited and had talks with many of the pro-Kremlin parties in Europe, including Austrian FPÖ, British UKIP, German AfD, Italian Lega Nord,...

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...Hungarian Fidesz, Spanish Vox, Swiss SVP, and France's National Rally.

Incidentally, all these parties and/or some of their members have been previously featured in #vatniksoup.

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A 2023 study conducted by Brookings Institution revealed that Bannon's podcast broadcasted the highest proportion of disinformation and unsubstantiated statements among 79 political podcasts examined.

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These days Bannon is still flooding the zone with shit with his "Bannons [sic] War Room" show on Rumble. Recently he's also encouraged conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to run against Joe Biden in the 2024 Democratic Party presidential primaries.

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As a traditionalist, Bannon has been married and divorced three times. In 1996, his then-wife accused Steve of domestic abuse, but the charges were later dropped after she failed to appear in court.

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