Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean called incoming White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor Stephen K. Bannon a “Nazi” on Sunday during an interview with journalist Evan Solomon of Canada’s CTV.
Appearing on CTV’s Question Period, Dean commented on President-elect Donald J. Trump’s recent appointments.
“He’s a complicated guy,” Dean said, referring to Trump. “He appoints a reasonable person, who’s much more conservative than I am, but someone you can talk to, as his Chief of Staff — and then the senior’s adviser’s a Nazi,” Dean exclaimed.
The interviewer interjected. “OK, hang on. Slow down. This is interesting. You’re talking about Reince Priebus, who is the chairman of the Republican National Party [sic], right? He’s now [Trump’s] Chief of Staff. Steve Bannon, who ran something called Breitbart News –”
Dean interrupted: “Which is a far-right, antisemitic publication.”
“You called him a Nazi?” Solomon asked, incredulous.
“Well, He’s antisemitic, he’s anti-black and he’s anti-women,” Dean said.
“People like to throw around this word, ‘Nazi.’ It’s a pretty big word,” Solomon said.
Dean replied: “It’s a big word. I don’t usually use it unless somebody’s really antisemitic, really misogynist, really anti-black.”
“You really believe he’s that — I mean, again, he –” Solomon asked, before being interrupted.
“You go look at Breitbart News, you’ll make up your own mind,” Dean said.
Solomon pointed out that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, had married an Orthodox Jew. “How do you square the circle?”
“That’s a very good question. I have no idea how he squares the circle,” Dean said.
Dean was once considered a political moderate, as governor of Vermont. He then ran for president in 2004 on a leftist platform, and was considered a favorite to win his party’s nomination until his infamous “Dean scream” after losing the Iowa caucuses to then-Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).
He served as chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009, building up the online networks that would eventually help propel Barack Obama to victory. He is running again for that post, against far-left Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).
Bannon has been on leave as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News since being appointed CEO of the Trump campaign in August.
Both Bannon and Breitbart News have rejected claims of antisemitism and other prejudices.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.