Stephen K. Bannon, chief executive of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was a guest of the show he formerly hosted when he joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily.
“I officially want to go on the record: this is not an interview. This is not a conversation. It’s just a couple of old friends catching up,” Bannon announced, so any resemblance between what follows and a radio interview is purely coincidental.
Naturally, the breeze was promptly shot concerning the events of the previous evening. “I wanted to come on the show this morning, the first show after the victory last night, to just thank all the callers, all the listeners to the show, and all the people there at Breitbart. I think you can say your voice was heard last night,” Bannon said.
“If you’ve listened to the show over the past year, you’ve heard the frustration. You’ve heard the recommendations. You’ve heard it all on this show. So last night, I think you saw the hobbits finally had a chance to speak,” he continued, referring to an infamous comment from political times gone by.
“Don’t think people aren’t listening to you,” he added.
Bannon said he was busy working in Trump’s campaign data room on Tuesday night, so he did not see much of how the mainstream media covered the unfolding election. Marlow assured him that the journalists and commentators who got the 2016 election wrong, every step of the way, clearly intended to go on being wrong for the foreseeable future.
“I think probably the only people in the universe that covered and worked on both Brexit, in any level of detail, and this election last night were Raheem Kassam, Alex Marlow, and the one and only mega-producer Caroline Magyarits,” said Bannon, prompting what Marlow described as “maniacal laughter” from Magyarits off-mic.
Bannon returned to a point he made during his pre-election Breitbart News Daily appearance, on the first anniversary of the show, about how the smug mainstream media assumed Trump voters were xenophobic and ignorant of world affairs, when, in fact, they were fully up to speed on the Brexit drama.
“Nigel Farage is a hero to those people, and they know about him because they listen to the Breitbart show and go to Breitbart London and to the Breitbart pages and obviously other pages like Drudge and others,” Bannon said, arguing that the mainstream media missed Brexit and Trump’s presidential victory because they think such alternative sources of information are “beneath them.”
Bannon said he “never doubted for a second” that Trump would win. He compared watching Tuesday night’s results to the night of the Brexit vote, when rural areas and industrial towns in England began weighing in, providing a crucial omen of how the overall vote would go.
“You know, you and I said, ‘Watch the money markets start to implode,’” he reminisced. “I think it was the early exit – we got early exit polls – which had demographics and what you just talked about, where the American people were. And also, I had some early exits, actually, how the candidates had done, and I will tell you that if you looked at those early exit polls, you were probably not thinking that we were going to be celebrating over at the Hilton Hotel last night, because the early exit polls looked quite grim. I spent some time and tried to collect myself and just looked at the demographics, and also at the questions that cut to the heart of what you just said about the change and wanting change. So people just said, ‘Okay, we’re going to go about our normal work because obviously the exit polls can’t be correct.’”
“We really concentrated quite heavily on Florida. We had certain areas throughout the country, in North Carolina and Ohio, that we were really looking at. And as those started to come in, I think we felt quite confident,” he said. “So it was never – there was no lack of confidence. I think that my analogy to the British Exit, to the Brexit movement, was really what the exit poll showed about people’s desire for change – a desire for real change, not just the type of change that gets talked about on cable TV. That’s when I felt that, if this is correct, you’ll start to see it roll across what we called the ‘Core Four,’ which is the four we felt we had to win to give ourselves multiple paths to victory, which was Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa.”
“And I did agree with a lot of people that North Carolina was going to be her firewall, and that second would be the Upper Midwest, which, as you know, having listened to this show, we always felt that Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, places like that would always be in play because of this populist message,” Bannon said.
“If you listen to Breitbart News Daily and you read the pages of Breitbart, you’re not surprised this morning,” he noted. “If you read the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times of London. … I know they refer to your audience members as stupid, and they don’t know what’s going on. All these names they throw at you. It’s the same thing as Brexit, that they didn’t really understand Brexit, and they didn’t understand … the underlying desire for people to have control of their own lives that Brexit represented. I think you saw the same thing last night.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to see the media meltdown because we were really too hunkered into the election last night,” Bannon said wistfully.
He refused to discuss specifics about Trump’s transition plans because that would be more like an “interview” than two old pals having a friendly chat, but promised such details would be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead.
“This victory is your victory,” Bannon stressed to the Breitbart News Daily audience. “The people that ought to be taking the victory lap this morning are the listeners to the show, and people that don’t listen to the show but are kindred spirits because it was a great victory for us, as Mr. Trump said in his speech last night – ‘the forgotten men and women of this country’ that have really been the backbone of this country.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.