Audio from Steve Bannon’s old radio show reveals his long game for the Muslim ban

Although President Trump was sworn in as 45th president of the United States, there’s reason to believe that former Breitbart honcho and current White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the one calling the shots. His so-called “economic nationalist” and isolationist fingerprints were all over Trump’s “American carnage” inaugural address as well as last week’s travel ban executive order.

Look no further than the unearthed audio of the 63-year-old’s now-defunct “Breitbart News Daily” Sirius/XM radio show, in which the newly appointed member of the National Security Council expressed no interest in the U.S. maintaining global moral leadership, much less legal precedent when it comes to aiding the international refugee crisis. Bannon just wants to battle what he perceives is a “global existenial war,” according to hours of audio recordings reviewed by USA Today.

One specific example, recently unearthed by The Washington Post (audio below), was from a show which aired in November of 2015: Bannon spoke with Congressman Ryan Zinke (currently Trump’s Interior Secretary-designate) about the vetting of refugees from the Middle East. Zinke expressed concern for the need to be vigilant when mitigating each refugee case. Bannon’s position took on more of an air of “fuck it.” Or, in his own words, “Why even let ‘em in?”

The following audio pretty much reveals Bannon’s long game for this current 120-day exec order (transcript below):


Bannon: There’s a level of fear in those [European] cities and a level of frustration in the United States… and we’re actually in discussion about bringing over Muslim refugees into this country with a president who is now mocking the talk radio people, mocking sites like Breitbart, mocking these issues. What say you?

Zinke: Well, I think we need to do three things. One is we need to put a stop on refugees until we vet. We’ve been through these briefings—

Bannon: Why stop until we vet? I don’t understand. Why not just stop? Why’re you going through all this thing on vetting—

Zinke: Well, vetting’s important because we don’t know—

Bannon: Commander [sic, Congressman?], you only vet unless you let ‘em in. Why even let em in?

Zinke: Look at the immigration and the immigration and number of refugees from the last 10 years, and not all of them are from Syria. The problem I have is not all refugees… [it’s] about who we’re bringing in and the lack of knowledge. We don’t know who they are for certain. And the State Department’s argument, “Well, they’re women and children, and we’re going to prioritize that.” Well a couple things: Number one is that the bombers in Boston were just about kids, and, second, women are being used as recruiters for ISIS, and they don’t have a record. Even suicide bombers are not repeat offenders. I have a problem bringing in refugees where I don’t have a database of people I don’t know… We need to stop refugees until we have a vetting process…

Bannon: If you agree to just change the vetting process, right? You are buying into the assumption that we should take — Caroline May had a report on Breitbart yesterday — two million immigrants from Muslim-majority countries have come to the United States since 9/11. Two million. Isn’t this just a way to get Paul Ryan and leadership off the hook to approve this so there’s not some big showdown? The American people, the conservative people… are tired of this. The cost to do that, to what end? Can’t that money be used on the United States? Should we just take a pause and a hiatus for a number of years on any influx from that area of the world? Any? And we figure this out later in three or four or five years? What is the pressing need that we need to do this no matter what the vetting system is?

Zinke goes on to cite his “sympathetic heart” for the “Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who have worked with the U.S.” that are individuals who have helped keep U.S. military alive and are worthy of the State Department’s time. “Those are onesies, twosies,” Bannon countered. “I’m saying… that’s like HB1 visas where you have Albert Einstein come in to be an astrophysicist. You can always see that. I’m talking, generally.”

Someone may want to explain to Bannon that Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian immigrant normie. So, no, you can’t always see that. Then again, a young Melania wouldn’t have suffered under this would-be policy. So what does the president care?

[Photo: Getty]