He was recruited to be the new head of Donald Trump's campaign in August 2016. Stephen Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart News. In July 2016, he is reported to have declared, regarding Breitbart News, "We're the platform for the alt-right", referring to an extreme conservative movement that is largely amorphous, but widely criticized as being racist, and belligerant of social norms. With the way the term "racist" is thrown around so lightly these days, it is hard to really know what to think of the epithet in any particular application. Substantively, however, some analysis of twitter followers substantiates the claim that Breitbart has become medium that has been more successful than competitors in drawing out racists. One anecdote that should be reviewed in connection with this Bannon's time at Breitbart and his hiring as the head of Donald Trump's campaign, is the assault allegation that Breitbart reporter, Michelle Fields, made against Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and the persecution that she suffered from the Trump campaign and Breitbart news as a result.
Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart's own alt-right star has criticized the description of the alt-right as racist. In their defense, he stated, "There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence."
In 2012, Bannon showed his religious prejudice when he gave an interview in which he criticized Mitt Romney, and missionary service generally, saying, "Mitt Romney goes to the Republican convention, gives his acceptance speech, people give him a standing ovation, and he doesn’t have the common decency to say one thing about our troops fighting in Afghanistan? This is a guy who avoided military duty in Vietnam; who has five sons who look like movie stars who have not served their country one day. Oh, but by the way all of them did their two years of Mormon missionary service — every one of them."
- Jim Acosta, Dana Bash, and Tal Kopan, "Trump picks Priebus as White House chief of staff, Bannon as top adviser", KSL, 13 Nov 2016
- Sarah Posner, "How Donald Trump's New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists", Mother Jones, 22 Aug 2016
- Ben Shapiro, "If Republicans aren't careful, they'll soon see true conservatism banished from their party.", Washington Post, 18 Aug 2016
- Gabriella Loosle, "LDS Man Kidnapped by North Korean Government; Trump CEO Bashes Missionaries; and More!", LDS.net, 1 Sep 2016