An aide to President Trump says Stephen Bannon's experiences at Breitbart News will be an asset for the president's chief strategist in his new role on the National Security Council (NSC).Sebastian Gorka, a Trump foreign policy aide, said that in an interview with NPR's Audie Cornish that aired on All Things Considered on Tuesday. Emphasis added below:
CORNISH: Before I let you go, I want to ask you one other question because you work with the National Security Council, and you've worked with Steve Bannon in the past of Breitbart News. What's the rationale for elevating him as chief strategist to the principals committee of the National Security Council?Yes, Bannon is qualified to be on the National Security Council because Breitbart "crushed its left-wing rivals," according to Gorka.
GORKA: Your question provides the answer. What is this individual's title - chief strategist to the president of the United States and senior counselor. The idea that it would be in some way controversial to have the president's chief strategist in the meetings of the National Security Council, again, is rather a peculiar stance to take. This is a man that provides strategic advice at the highest level to the president. Of course having him in the deliberative body that deals with national security is, again, the injection of common sense.
CORNISH: And people have also talked about Stephen Bannon's background with the Navy. Most of his adult life has been in the media. How is that experience relevant?
GORKA: I think you need to look at what Stephen Bannon did in terms of building a media giant that has crushed its left-wing rivals in terms of a breitbart.com. I think one has to look at what he did for the Trump campaign to understand that this is a man who eats and breathes and sleeps strategy. Whether or not he wore a uniform, that's a credit to his service to the nation. But he is really - and I can tell you as somebody who's worked with him for years - a truly strategic mind.
CORNISH: So of value to national security concerns.
GORKA: Without question.
But why should it surprise us that Gorka says this? A point I've been making since I started blogging is that it doesn't matter how much contempt a Republican expresses for a foreign foe -- even when compared to Al Qaeda or ISIS, liberals and Democrats are the #1 enemy, according to the right. Republicans prioritize crushing the Democratic Party; movement conservatives insist that people on the left aren't legitimate Americans. The key to success as a conservative isn't improving citizens' lives or even making government smaller or leaner -- it's infuriating liberals and Democrats and diminishing their power. Look at the policy initiatives of President Trump's first two weeks: No infrastructure plan. No attack on the carried-interest deduction. None of the things that made Trump occasionally seem like a non-ideologue. Everything has been designed to enrage our side.
I think it's an exaggeration to say that Breitbart "crush[ed] its left-wing rivals." But to a conservative, yes, that's a qualification for a top foreign policy job. Because the ultimate goal of foreign policy and domestic policy is "crushing left-wing rivals" in America. To the right, that's the ultimate goal of everything worth doing.