Steve Bannon says he uses five phones, including two encrypted ones, as he keeps on wielding his powers over the Republican party
Steve Bannontold The Atlantic he uses five different cell phones.
- Two of them are encrypted, he said.
Steve Bannon disclosed that he uses five cellphones, two of which are encrypted, to The Atlantic during an interview for a profile about his continued influence over the Republican party.
The former Trump White House chief strategist and current host of the "War Room" podcast — which was banned from YouTube shortly after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol — was glued to his phones throughout the Atlantic staff writer Jennifer Senior's reporting. She pointed out how Bannon sent her several messages with bold proclamations.
"I'm taking out Murkowski today and forcing her to vote NO on judge Jackson," Bannon said in one of the texts during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, where Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska ultimately voted in favor of her nomination.
Although he's ostensibly just a podcast host, the Atlantic profile uses Bannon's fleet of phones as an image to encapsulate what Senior describes as his "monomania," an obsessive and often enthusiastic preoccupation with one thing.
That one thing for Bannon, according to the profile, is exerting influence on the GOP after being bounced from the Trump White House in 2017 after only seven months on the job — one of the shortest tenures in an administration notorious for its turnover.
"On November 8, the War Room and the War Room posse and all the little people at the school boards and things—we're gonna give you democracy shoved up your ass," Bannon told The Atlantic, referring to the date for the 2022 midterm elections. "Okay? We're gonna give you a democracy suppository."
Bannon also insisted to Senior that his podcast is not, in fact, a podcast, but actually a TV show.
While live streaming Bannon's show used to be easy on YouTube — and Apple continues to carry its RSS feed on its podcasts app — it's now only picked up by conservative media sites and carried on Pluto TV, as Senior found.
The Atlantic profile examining Bannon's influence also includes more harsh assessments from conservative figures such as John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary.
"If Paul Manafort weren't a criminal, he and Kellyanne Conway wouldn't have taken over the Trump campaign," Podhoretz told the magazine, referring to the summer 2016 shakeup in the Trump campaign. "He's not an emperor and he has no clothes."
Senior also observed two of Bannon's phones going off while the show was being livestreamed, an element of chaos the former Trump advisor says he embraces.
Bannon has also been plagued by legal issues ever since the first year of the Trump administration, notably the "Build the Wall" case where prosecutors allege Bannon and associates siphoned money off of donors who thought they were contributing to former President Donald Trump's border wall being completed. Trump issued Bannon a pardon shortly before leaving office in January 2021, clearing him of any penalties from the case.
He was also indicted in November 2021 on two charges of contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with the House Select Committee's request for documents and testimony related to the Capitol siege.
Bannon's trial in that case will begin on July 18.
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