Steve Bannon's rise from top brass at the "alt-right" website Breitbart News to the White House is almost more alarming than President Donald Trump's own upward trajectory, in many ways. Bannon took a leave of absence from the Breitbart News Network to serve as the chief executive officer of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and once Trump won the election in November, Bannon officially left Breitbart and followed the President to the White House as chief strategist and senior counselor. As if having somebody like Bannon at the right hand of the President of the United States was unsettling enough to many, Trump has just given Bannon a seat on the National Security Council (NSC). This move has, understandably, made a lot of people angry.
According to Time, the NSC is "the main group that advises the president on national security and foreign affairs." Bannon's appointment will allow him to have access to extremely important information and take part in high level discussions concerning our country's security with military and intelligence leadership. Not only does this appointment give Bannon more power, BBC News reports that it diminishes the power normally assigned to the director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs. With this reshuffling of the NSC under President Trump, the director national intelligence and the joint chiefs will only attend NSC meetings when the discussions pertain directly to their areas. Under previous administrations, it was standard protocol for them to attend all meetings of the NSC.
Bannon is now able to influence the President in order to carry out any alleged alt-right, nationalist agenda critics claim he may have in mind (though Bannon himself has denied claims that he has white nationalistic leanings). Bannon was reportedly a "driving force behind many of Trump's most controversial executive orders," according to Time. Most recently, he was involved in the ban on refugees and on people from Muslim-majority countries entering the United States. The alarming NSC appointment has made many Americans wary, as well as angry. They've taken to Twitter to express their outrage over Bannon's seemingly limitless rise to becoming one of the most powerful men in the world right now.
The hashtag #StopPresidentBannon was one of the top trending topics on Twitter on Sunday. Thousands of people in the United States used the hashtag as digital protest of Bannon's appointment to the NSC. From journalists to comedians, Twitter was filled with angry declarations against Bannon's perceived unmitigated power in the White House. One Twitter user wrote "Hey, [Donald Trump] So what’s it like, working for #PresidentBannon? Does he let you pitch in, or just read the final drafts?" While another one pointed out something critical: "You know who got fewer votes than even Trump? #PresidentBannon and yet now he's running the country."
Whatever happens next, it's safe to say that though Trump and his people may be satisfied assigning Bannon to a security position in the White House, the American people, for whom both work, are less than pleased, to say the least.