Trump’s former White House chief strategist hails PM Modi for standing up to China – who exactly is Steve Bannon?

On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, White House chief strategist and advisor Steve Bannon, who was also editor-in-chief of conservative polemicist website Breitbart, praised PM Modi’s response to China.

Bannon is a long-time Modi admirer who even called him a ‘Trump before Trump’. In fact, Ambassador to US Harsh Singala once called Bannon a Dharma warrior, before deleting his effusive tweet.

Speaking to Times Now, Steve Bannon called PM Modi a hero who stood against ‘predatory’ capitalism, calling him someone who ‘understands history and can’t be bought off’, calling him a symbol of the world!

On April 18, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had revised its foreign investment policy, making it much difficult for companies from countries sharing a land border with India, including China, to invest in the country.

China said earlier the additional barriers set by India for investors from specific countries violate World Trade Organisation's principle of non-discrimination, and go against the general trend of liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment.

"More importantly, they do not conform to the consensus of G20 leaders and trade ministers to realise a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open," said a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy.

Who is Steve Bannon?

Steve Bannon was a founding member of Breitbard News, a right-news website which has been accused of being ‘racist, sexist, xenophobic’ and a voice of the ‘alternative right’. He was the chief executive of Trump’s presidential campaign, he famously said: “Darkness is good: Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we are doing.”

Bannon was Trump’s chief executive officer during his presential bid, served on the board of Cambridge Analytica, and was the White House chief strategist.

Bannon has often been effusive of his praise for Modi, comparing him to former US President Reagan. He also is something of an avid Gita fan claiming that the world was amid a moral crisis and looking forward to a ‘dharma war’. He had said: ““We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict… (and we) need to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000-2,500 years.”

After Modi won in 2019, Bannon had said: “Well, look, I, when Modi first won five years ago, I was very proud of the fact that Breitbart which is a conservative kind of right-wing site in the United States. We covered that election very closely and the reason was the day he won we put a headline that he was India's Reagan; and I have been incredibly impressed since the first day I heard of him I started following him in Indian politics and I would tell the people in India what I believe just happened is... exactly like Ronald Reagan second win in 1984.”

He noted that the Western media was stunned by the victory.

He was removed from power after the Charlottesville United the Right rally in 2017. There were also murmurs that Trump didn’t take kindly to ‘President Bannon jibes’ which seemed to insinuate that Steve Bannon was calling the shots.

Since leaving the White House, Bannon has appeared as a disparate figure, not quite able to understand the grammar of politics in Europe, though he did serve as unofficial political advisor to Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro.

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