One of the most noteworthy outcomes of the publication of journalist Michael Wolff’s scoop-filled book about the first year of the Trump presidency was the criticism of Breitbart News chairman and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon by the “alt-right” white nationalist movement, which Bannon sought to curate as an audience for his website.
Bannon was quoted in the book insulting Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and said that Donald Trump, Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton was “treasonous.”
The White House quickly fired back, with President Trump saying in a statement that when Bannon was fired from the White House last year, “he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” But just as notable was the response from the alt-right.
On the social network app Gab, which is favored by alt-right and neo-Nazi supporters for refusing to censor content, one of the most popular users, “Ricky Vaughn,” shared a post responding to Bannon’s seemingly permanent break with Trump by referring to Bannon’s website as (((Breitbart))) — using the “echo” meme often used by the far-right to identify Jews.
Andrew Breitbart, the website’s founder, was Jewish. The site was run by Bannon since shortly after Breitbart’s death in 2012.
The “echo” post came less than a week after Bannon and Breitbart cut ties with Paul Nehlen, a Wisconsin congressional candidate who had often used the “echoes,” among other anti-Semitic tropes. Soon after, a Reddit user on a channel devoted to the alt-right sketch comedy troupe “Million Dollar Extreme” shared an article about the news from the white nationalist website Occidental Dissent and titled it, “Steve (((Bannon))) pulled the plug on Paul )))Nehlen(((.”
In that Occidental Dissent article, Hunter Wallace was harshly critical of Bannon, writing, “Steve Bannon’s purge of Paul Nehlen is revealing because it is one of the most vivid illustrations yet that MAGA or the Alt-Lite – we’re talking about the same thing here – is nothing more than the same old conservatism.”
Nehlen would go on to say that he had been targeted by “a coordinated attack by globalists from both parties” — seemingly a veiled reference to Bannon and Breitbart. Both Bannon and his website were known to refer to Kushner as a “globalist,” a term that some saw as having anti-Semitic connotations.