Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter got the scoop on Stephen K. Bannon’s first day back as Breitbart News’ executive chairman after resigning his position at President Trump’s chief strategist.
In an interview with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, Bond reports that Breitbart staff greeted Bannon with cheers and congratulations when he joined Friday afternoon’s senior editorial conference call. He then got right down to business, “asking for more stories about China and trade and the Alabama Senate race, where the seat formerly occupied by Sen. Jeff Sessions (now U.S. attorney general) is up for grabs.”
Bannon, Marlow said, “was in a fantastic mood. He’s fired up” and is already engaged in “plans to expand Breitbart globally.”
Marlow also offered context to the comments Bannon gave to The Weekly Standard’s Peter Boyer that “the Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”
Marlow explained that Bannon is not “anti-Trump,” but is “very passionate about [Trump’s] agenda. There was no vitriol or bitterness in his mood.”
“I think he meant that Trump’s agenda is off course, relative to his message,” Marlow continued. “Repealing Obamacare, building a wall, limited military engagement, these are all off track. I think it was a metaphor for the things that are way off track.”
Though Marlow brushed off the reports of White House infighting as “largely media hype,” he did acknowledge that it’s hardly surprising that Bannon would have disagreements.
“He disagreed with lots of people. He’s a visionary. He sees the political landscape and the U.S. in a unique way that doesn’t fit with the establishment, so it’s no surprise he butted heads. He’s truly original,” Marlow said.
Marlow also commented on Bannon’s acceptance of the media scrutiny he’s been under for the past year. While working in the White House, Bannon, who Marlow describes as a “news junkie,” was too busy to follow the news cycle as closely as he used to, but he “was keenly aware that many journalists were working overtime to demonize him. It just never seemed to bother him.”
Marlow mentioned that when he met with Bannon recently at the White House at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, “There were four TV monitors behind us, and he was on two of them. There was no awkwardness. He just smiled. Not that he was disinterested; he’s just an international superstar. It’s part of his life nowadays.”