(b. Nov 27, 1953 in Norfolk, VA of Germany / Irish descent) is an American media executive, political strategist, former investment banker, and the former executive chairman of Breitbart News. Bannon worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs Group and an officer in the Navy. Bannon’s role as a producer of conservative political films about Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, and Bill Clinton, and later his position as head of Breitbart News, established credentials that led to Trump’s inner circle. He served as White House Chief Strategist in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump during the first seven months of Trump’s term. He served on the board of Cambridge Analytica, the data-analytics firm involved in the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Bannon gave sharply contradictory accounts under oath of his discussions with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks, a review of official records by The New York Post shows.
Steve Bannon’s War Room is one of the post popular podcasts reaching millions with real journalistic coverage of the CCP virus and the 2020 Election on PlutoTV Channel 240, Dish Channel 219, Roku, Apple TV, FireTV, or https://AmericasVoice.news.
In March 2017, the Washington Post published a profile on Bannon that included some shocking details, including the bizarre case of 1794 Opechee Drive, the house in Miami that Bannon claimed as his residence, along with his third ex-wife.
Bannon rented a 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Miami that reportedly was used for cooking methamphetamine and producing pornographic videos that included children. The owner of the house, Carlos Herrera; his wife, Andreina Morales; real estate agent Beatriz Portela, and the man who rented the house after the Bannons moved out, Lawrence Curtis, described a “house of horrors” during the time Bannon and his third wife, Diane Clohesy, rented the 1794 Opechee Drive address in Coconut Grove. At the time Bannon was sharing the lease with Clohesy in Opechee, she was apparently involved with another man. Neighbors said they repeatedly saw a man they could not identify at the house (not Bannon).
She filed for a restraining order against Jose A. Cabana in 2012. He filed one against her in May 2013, court records show. She was granted a two-year injunction against him and his complaint was dropped after he failed to appear in court. Cabana was charged with cocaine distribution in November 2013 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In October 2013, Clohesy became ensnared in an undercover investigation of a jail guard suspected of smuggling drugs and other contraband to another man, a friend of hers in the Miami-Dade County Pre-trial Detention Center, according to an arrest warrant for the jail guard first reported by the the Miami New Times. Her brother, Declan, provided The Post with a statement that Bannon had provided “emotional or financial support” to help her recover from drug addiction and depression.
Bannon and Clohesy officially divorced in 2009, but on February 9, 2013, Bannon and Clohesy jointly signed a lease agreement for the Miami house as “applicant” and “applicant’s spouse.” Curtis recalled, “Each person gave accounts that the house was used to film pornography, had a constant flow of men, women — and even children — at the house and that blatant drug use was occurring at all hours of the night and day.” A pest control employee told Curtis that a “heavy set man” living at the house offered him “girls for sex and/or drugs in lieu of payment.” Another man, an appliance repairman, told Curtis that the house was “evil and the people are evil.” He told Curtis that when making repair calls, he “observed topless and naked men and women and the constant presence of drugs.” Three principals of Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE), for which Bannon served as CEO, were arrested in 2002 by Interpol at their house in Marbella, Spain. Police discovered child pornography and guns.1 Bannon also has a long history with Jeffrey Epstein according to former Breitbart investigative journalist Lee Stranahan.
Felix, a handyman who frequently worked on the property, told Curtis he had personally “witnessed women and men being filmed in the act.” He described the buckets of chemicals and bags of trash and rags he had to remove. He spent hours scrubbing the master bathtub, “which appeared melted by some form of acid.” Felix suspected the bathtub had been used for “making drugs.” A pest control worker described witnessing drug use each time he came to the house, “even at early day hours.” He told Curtis it would blow his mind to know what “what went on in the house.” The homeowners that took over after Bannon ended the rental agreement had the home tested for drugs which confirmed “levels of meth and very high levels of cocaine.”
However, the Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California. Bannon’s former wife occupied the premises, according to a landlord and neighbors. At the same time Bannon said he was living with his ex-wife, she was under investigation for involvement in a plot to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a Miami jail, a law enforcement document obtained by The Post shows.
Four neighbors told The Post they do not recall seeing Bannon at the house.
“I never saw him,” said Steven Chastain, who lived a few doors away on a nearby street.
“He wasn’t living there,” said Barbara Pope, a longtime resident who often walked her dog on Opechee Drive. “I would have recognized him.”
Three neighbors interviewed by The Post said they were confident Bannon had not lived at the home. “I often saw Diane,” said Joseph “J.L.” Plummer, a prominent Miami resident who lived next door and was a city commissioner for nearly 30 years. “I never saw him.” One of the allures of Florida is its zero income tax rate for in-state residents.
He graduated from Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies in 1976, with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning. Bannon joined the United States Navy in 1977 and became an officer in six months. He became a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan after he saw Jimmy Carter’s destructive left-wing policies – before that, he was apolitical. He served for seven years. While serving in the navy, he earned a master’s degree in national security studies in 1983 from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. In 1985, Bannon earned a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from Harvard Business School.
Bannon landed in Goldman’s New York office at the height of the hostile takeover boom. “Everything in the Midwest was being raided by Milken,” he says. “It was like a firestorm.” Goldman didn’t do hostile takeovers, instead specializing in raid defense for companies targeted by the likes of Drexel Burnham and First Boston. The first few years, he worked every day except Christmas and loved it: “The camaraderie was amazing. It was like being in the Navy, in the wardroom of a ship.” Later, he worked on a series of leveraged buyouts, including a deal for Calumet Coach that involved Bain Capital and an up-and-comer named Mitt Romney.
Two big things were going on at Goldman Sachs in the late ’80s. The globalization of world capital markets meant that size suddenly mattered. Everyone realized that the firm, then a private partnership, would have to go public. Bankers also could see that the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial and investment banking was going to fall, setting off a flurry of acquisitions. Specialists would command a premium. Bannon shipped out to Los Angeles to specialize in media and entertainment. “A lot of people were coming from outside buying media companies,” he says. “There was huge consolidation.”
After a few years, in 1990, Bannon and a couple of Goldman colleagues set off to launch Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. At the time, investors preferred hard assets—manufacturing companies, real estate—and avoided things like movie studios and film libraries, which were harder to price. Bannon’s group, drawing on data such as VHS cassette sales and TV ratings, devised a model to value intellectual property in the same way as tangible assets. “We got a ton of business,” he says.
When the French bank Crédit Lyonnais, a major financier of independent Hollywood studios, almost went bankrupt, Bannon & Co. rolled up its loan portfolio. When MGM went bust, it worked on the studio’s financing. When Polygram Records got into the film business, Bannon’s firm handled its acquisitions.
And then, serendipitously, Bannon wound up in the entertainment business himself. Westinghouse Electric, a client, was looking to unload Castle Rock Entertainment, which had a big TV and movie presence, including Billy Crystal’s films. Bannon reeled in an eager buyer: Ted Turner. “Turner was going to build this huge studio,” he says, “so we were negotiating the deal at the St. Regis hotel in New York. As often happened with Turner, when it came time to actually close the deal, Ted was short of cash. … Westinghouse just wanted out. We told them, ‘You ought to take this deal. It’s a great deal.’ And they go, ‘If this is such a great deal, why don’t you defer some of your cash fee and keep an ownership stake in a package of TV rights?’ ” In lieu of a full adviser’s fee, the firm accepted a stake in five shows, including one in its third season regarded as the runt of the litter: Seinfeld. “We calculated what it would get us if it made it to syndication,” says Bannon. “We were wrong by a factor of five.”
After Société Générale bought Bannon & Co. in 1998, Bannon, no longer needing a day job, dove into Hollywood moguldom, becoming an executive producer of movies, including Anthony Hopkins’s 1999 Oscar-nominated Titus. He met a hard-partying talent manager named Jeff Kwatinetz who had discovered the band Korn and managed the Backstreet Boys. As Bannon was selling his company, Kwatinetz was launching one of his own, a management outfit called the Firm whose clients included Ice Cube and Martin Lawrence. Newly flush and sensing adventure, Bannon became a partner and a key player in the Firm’s great coup, its acquisition of former Disney chief Ovitz’s company, Artists Management Group. Ovitz had spent $100 million building a media giant he thought would conquer Hollywood, but AMG was bleeding money. Selling to the Firm was a last-ditch bid to save face. Instead, as Vanity Fair recounted, Bannon was dispatched to Ovitz’s Beverly Hills mansion to deliver the final humiliation in person, an offer for AMG of $5 million, less than the value of Ovitz’s home.
The Hollywood ether soon convinced Bannon that his passion wasn’t financing films, but making them. He was souring on Wall Street and what it had come to represent. “Goldman in the ’80s was like a priesthood, a monastic experience where you worked all the time but were incredibly dedicated to client services, to building and growing companies,” he says. He underwent a conversion like the one Michael Lewis has described, watching with horror as staid private partnerships such as Goldman Sachs became highly leveraged, publicly traded companies operating like casinos. “I turned on Wall Street for the same reason everybody else did: The American taxpayer was forced to cut mook deals to bail out guys who didn’t deserve it.”
Bannon’s political awakening was also spurred by the Sept. 11 attacks, which led him, in 2004, to make a Reagan-venerating documentary, In the Face of Evil (“A brilliant effort … extremely well done,” said Rush Limbaugh). This introduced him to Schweizer, a Cold War scholar whose book, Reagan’s War, was the basis of the film. It also brought him into Andrew Breitbart’s orbit. “We screened the film at a festival in Beverly Hills,” Bannon recalls, “and out of the crowd comes this, like, bear who’s squeezing me like my head’s going to blow up and saying how we’ve gotta take back the culture.”
Breitbart, who also lived in Los Angeles, had a profound influence on Bannon. When they met, Breitbart was starting his website, after having worked with Drudge and having helped Arianna Huffington launch the Huffington Post. Bannon lent his financial acumen and office space. He marveled at Breitbart’s visceral feel for the news cycle and his ability to shape coverage through the Drudge Report, which is avidly followed by TV producers and news editors.
“One of the things I admired about him was that the dirtiest word for him was ‘punditry,’ ” says Bannon. “Our vision—Andrew’s vision—was always to build a global, center-right, populist, anti-establishment news site.” With this in mind, he set out to line up investors.
Bannon continued making documentaries—big, crashing, opinionated films with Wagner scores and arresting imagery: Battle for America (2010), celebrating the Tea Party; Generation Zero (2010), examining the roots of the financial meltdown; The Undefeated (2011), championing Palin. In the Bannon repertoire, no metaphor is too direct. His films are peppered with footage of lions attacking helpless gazelles, seedlings bursting from the ground into glorious bloom. Palin, for one, ate it up and traveled to Iowa, trailed by hundreds of reporters, to appear with him at a 2011 screening in Pella that the press thought might signal her entrance into the 2012 presidential race. (No such luck.) Breitbart came along as promoter and ringmaster. When I spoke with him afterward, he described Bannon, with sincere admiration, as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement.
In 2011, Bannon produced and directed a political documentary about Sarah Palin for the Victory Film Project, a company in Sarasota, Fla. He is listed as a manager of the company in Florida corporate records.
In March 2012, with the death of founder Andrew Breitbart, Bannon became executive chairman of the Los Angeles-based Breitbart News, which was expanding its operations to Washington. Bannon was still a resident of California, records show. In the November 2012 elections, he voted in Orange County by absentee ballot. That same month, he renewed his California driver’s license for five years. But in his subsequent travels across the country, his living situation became more complicated. The details gathered by The Post create uncertainty about where exactly he was spending the bulk of his time.
He stated on the 2013 application that he earned $750,000 a year as chairman of Breitbart News Network, a figure that had not been previously reported. He also earned $270,000 as executive chairman of Arc Entertainment, a film distribution company based in Santa Monica, Calif. In addition, Bannon received about $100,000 in salary that year as part-time chairman of the Government Accountability Institute, a nonprofit charity in Tallahassee, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Bannon, two Breitbart writers and other conservative activists had launched the organization a year earlier and it produced reports and books that were promoted by Breitbart. Bannon claimed he worked 30 hours a week at GAI, according to IRS filings. Author and investigative journalist Peter Schweizer is president of GAI.
As 2015 approached, Bannon continued his roving life. He rented out his Laguna Beach home and, in January 2015, bought a townhouse as a second home in Pinehurst, N.C. The deed lists Bannon’s mailing address at his money manager’s office in Beverly Hills. On Feb. 18, 2015, Bannon ended the water and sewer service at Opechee Drive and switched the service to Onaway Drive, less than a half mile away in Coconut Grove, records show. Five days later, Bannon changed his voter registration to Onaway Drive.
Around this time, Bannon was becoming a fixture at the Breitbart News townhouse location in Washington, nicknamed “the Breitbart Embassy,” hosting parties, meeting with journalists and staying overnight. In a Bloomberg Businessweek profile in October 2015, a reporter described interviewing Bannon multiple times in January and February at the Breitbart townhouse in Washington. The article, headlined “This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America,” described the building as a “14-room townhouse that [Bannon] occupies.”
In mid-August 2016, Bannon became chief executive of the Trump campaign. During the campaign, Bannon warned Ailes about Megyn Kelly, with the former telling Ailes that she would betray him which ended up coming true in July 2016.
Hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump confidant, who spoke exclusively to TheStreet at a live event on March 27, 2017 in New York City, used to work for the man who hired Bannon at Goldman Sachs. “Bannon is one of the smartest people I know,” Scaramucci said, adding that Bannon has read “every book” at Barnes & Noble twice. Scarmucci praised Bannon’s writing skills and could detect Bannon’s style in some of President Trump’s best speeches. He also said Bannon understands the economic divide in the U.S. better than anyone.
Following Trump’s victory, Bannon was appointed Chief Strategist in the Trump administration. Due to his conservative, nationalist views, as well as his strong opposition to the mainstream media, the MSM was ruthless in trying to oust him from the White House. More moderate members in the White House also oppose him. Due to that opposition, Bannon has been falsely claimed to be “racist,” even though these claims have been refuted. In fact, Bannon has called white supremacists and racists “a collection of clowns.” He was described as the “intellectual heart” of Trump’s political movement, and he preferred working on weekends over partying. Bannon strongly supported Israel, advocating for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On August 18, 2017, the White House announced that Bannon was leaving his role, effective immediately. The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that minutes earlier a White House insider and Trump ally had confided that the leaks over previous days about Bannon’s role were “part of an effort to pressure the White House aide to step down.” The source claimed: “They are trying to get him to quit.” The Guardian also noted that “[Bannon’s] absence means more power and influence for figures such as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the national economic council chair, Gary Cohn, who have few, if any, ideological ties to the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”
He rejoined Breitbart as its executive chairman on the same day. In January 2018, Bannon was disavowed by Trump for critical comments reported in the book Fire and Fury, and left Breitbart. On the same day his resignation was announced, 20 grassroots conservative groups sent a letter to President Trump asking him to keep Bannon, along with Kellyanne Conway.
After leaving the White House, Bannon campaigned against the establishment Republicans in the U.S. Senate. By October 2017, three of them had either resigned or had been voted out, apparently due to Bannon’s efforts, at least in part. However, Bannon was hurt in late 2017 and early 2018 when Roy Moore lost the Alabama Senate election (despite establishment and media gloating, the loss was not Bannon’s fault), and when negative comments toward Trump and his family that Bannon had made months earlier were revealed. The latter incident severely hurt his standing with President Trump, and he was forced to resign several days later. He was unsuccessful in defeating the U.S. establishment in the 2018 elections, as he originally hoped to do. By mid-2019, Bannon’s standing with President Trump began to improve.
He also founded a group with fellow former Breitbart journalist Raheem Kassam to help patriotic forces in Europe. Bannon also developed a close relationship with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his son Eduardo Bolsonaro. Bannon, a critic of China, has participated in organizations and conferences warning the public of the communist dictatorship. In 2019, Bannon became more publicly active to support President Trump against the Democrats’ impeachment investigation.
Bannon’s conservative principles of economic nationalism, populism, and non-interventionism are influential among conservatives and Republicans. Bannon’s nationalist and pro-worker positions, as well as his opposition to the establishment globalist faction of the GOP, are also attractive to some on the Left, as well as minorities.
Bannon gave sharply contradictory accounts under oath of his discussions with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks, a review of official records by The New York Post shows. According to the Post, On Jan 16, 2018 — roughly five months after he left the White House – Bannon told members of the House Intelligence Committee repeatedly that he and political operative Stone had never discussed WikiLeaks or its boss Julian Assange at any time during their relationship. The testimony, part of Rep. Adam Schiff’s Russia Investigation, was declassified and made public on May 7.
But he was called as a witness for the prosecution in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case against Stone, who was charged with lying to Congress about his role in the WikiLeaks scandal, in which Democratic party emails hacked by the Russians and harmful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign were published. (Stone has always denied the charges and the evidence suggests he is telling the truth.)
Under questioning from Department of Justice prosecutor Michael Marando, Bannon turned the knife. He said that Stone had in fact discussed Assange and WikiLeaks with him before Bannon took over Trump’s campaign in August 2016, according to a transcript of Bannon’s trial testimony.
“There does appear a glaring and irreconcilable conflict in what Bannon stated in testimony before Congress and the court. What is striking is that this was not a peripheral point but one of the main areas of inquiry,” Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School who testified during President Trump’s impeachment hearings, told the Post.
“He has two diametrically opposite sworn statements in a high-profile controversy with dozens of attorneys in attendance,” Turley said.2
BELOW: Former CIA operative Steve Pieczenik and former Breitbart investigative journalist Lee Stranahan discuss (around 13:00 mark) how Steve Bannon is the one who recommended many of the globalists, such as John Bolton, to join the Trump team when he became president and Bannon was his Chief Strategist.