Donald Trump’s New Chief Strategist Didn’t Want Jewish Kids at His Daughters’ School, Ex-Wife Said
(Photo: Olya Steckel, iStockPhoto)
Donald Trump has announced the selection of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor in the White House. For nearly a decade Bannon was chairman of the far-right Breitbart News Network, and he is known for being a proud champion of the “alt-right,” the Southern Poverty Law Center says.
Stephen Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill https://t.co/IyJ6ET2vaS
— SPLC (@splcenter) November 13, 2016
Bannon ran Breitbart for most of the past decade, and as New York magazine writes, under Bannon, Breitbart News has published articles accusing President Obama of importing Muslims into the U.S., advocating for the flying of Confederate Flags, and such gems as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off.”
Bannon also has twin daughters with ex-wife Mary Louise Piccard, and the New York Daily News‘ Nancy Dillon reported on court documents from his divorce that show that Piccard testified that Bannon was anti-Semitic and had objected to sending their girls to schools with too many Jewish children.
“The biggest problem he had with [the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles] is the number of Jews that attend,” Piccard said in a signed statement. “He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
Piccard’s statement says that she told her husband that there were Jewish students at other schools they were considering, and that her husband responded by demanding to know the percentage of Jewish students enrolled in each one. The couple’s children did wind up going to the Archer School, but Piccard said in her signed statement that her husband’s selection criteria involved asking about how many Jewish students were enrolled at each school, and even reportedly asking one school director why there were “so many Chanukah books in the library.”
According to the New York Daily News, a rep for Bannon denied Piccard’s assertions.
Bannon also faced domestic violence and battery charges for allegedly assaulting his wife in 1996, but she says she was intimidated into leaving the state so he could avoid prosecution.
According to The New York Times, the Trump transition team issued a statement saying that as chief strategist, Bannon and new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus would be working “as equal partners to transform the federal government.”
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement decrying the elevation of Bannon to one of the highest positions in the country:
“It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house,’” the ADL said.