Harvard will host Steve Bannon, an alumnus of its business school, at a conference this week for its Kennedy School of Government, according to a reportin the Harvard Crimson.
Bannon, Donald Trump’s incoming chief White House strategist, might participate in a panel discussion or sit for an interview at the event, scheduled for Thursday and Friday and including conversations with Kellyanne Conway, the president-elect’s campaign manager, and Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. Leading journalists like CNN’s Jake Tapper will be on hand to question the politicos.
Bannon has proven to be one of Trump’s most controversial appointments, due to his former role as the head of Breitbart News, the news site he said he turned into a platform for the “alt-right.” That term is the label preferred by many contemporary white nationalists and supremacists.
Declan Garvey, president of the Harvard College Republicans, said he anticipated that Bannon’s appearance would lead to protests from the student body. “It’s a little different this year given who the Trump campaign brought on,” he told the Forward, in relation to Bannon and Conway.
Garvey, whose club refused to endorse the president-elect in the fall campaign, said that it was important to hear from the Trump camp, in spite of complaints about the ‘alt-right’ that he characterized as legitimate.
“It’s a question that I’ve been grappling with, about the normalization of Trump and his people, but whether we like it or not, Bannon will have the ear of Donald Trump, he will be senior adviser to the most powerful man in the world,” he said.
“No one at Harvard expected that Hillary would lose, and so it’s important for us to understand these people who are for Trump,” he added.
The Institute of Politics could not immediately be reached for comment.
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Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.