Steve Bannon is losing friends fast, but one old buddy is standing by the embattled former Trump advisor: Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein.
Klein, who hosted Bannon at his organization’s fundraising gala last year, has been a constant defender of the controversial nationalist. Now, as Bannon’s old allies fall away in the wake of his quotes savaging the president and his family in Michael Wolff’s blockbuster new book “Fire and Fury,” Klein is sticking by him.
“If there is anyone, like Bannon, who is a strong supporter of Israel and a strong fighter against anti-Semitism and that person ends up having less influence on the administration, that is something that would sadden me,” Klein told Politico. The quote appeared in an article reporting that Bannon’s apologies for the quotes were not helping, and that it was “unlikely,” in the words of one White House official, that he could heal his rift with the president.
Klein’s quote was the only sympathetic quote from a Bannon ally to appear in the story.
“Steve Bannon is a tremendous friend of Israel,” Klein told Haaretz in December. “He has said he condemns neo-Nazis and has said there is no place for them. What more do you want from him?”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Steve Bannon’s Last Friend: ZOA’s Mort Klein