In his first interviews since being named the incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus took to the morning news shows on Monday to defend the appointment of Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of alt-right media organization Breitbart News, as Trump’s chief strategist and senior counsel.
“The guy I know is a guy sitting in an office all day yesterday talking about hiring, talking about people,” Priebus said on the Today Show. “Here’s a guy who is Harvard Business School, he was a ten-year naval officer, London School of Economics, I believe. He is a guy who is very, very smart, very temperate.”
When asked about some of the race-baiting stories that have run on Breitbart, including one that stoked fears of Muslims and another that ran with an anti-Semitic attack on Bill Kristol, Priebus replied, “That wasn’t his writing, that was some articles on Breitbart. That wasn’t him.”
Over on MSNBC, the Republican National Committee chair once more pointed to Bannon’s Harvard Business School education to diminish concerns about his role in leading a white nationalist movement and normalize the appointment. He described Bannon as “generous” and “hospitable.”
For a closer look at Bannon’s assistance in shaping a campaign that included racism and misogyny, head to our deep-dive here.