Insisting that Trump’s campaign manager isn’t an anti-Semite, Aaron Klein claims that women, gays and immigrants will benefit from a Donald Trump presidency.
By Dafna Maor, HAARETZ
Aaron Klein, Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. Eyal Toueg; Mandel Ngan / AFP; Evan Vucci / AP
Aaron Klein, Israeli bureau chief for Breitbart News — the mouthpiece of the so-called alt-right movement and the media outlet most closely identified with President-elect Donald Trump — seems troubled by the idea that, now that Trump has won, he’s part of the establishment.
“We’re not the establishment,” he says several times, smiling as he realizes what he’s saying.
The establishment is a recurring subject in our long conversation, as it is in the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Hillary Clinton may have been the main object of hatred for “alt-right” supporters during the election campaign, but when Klein talks about the establishment, he cites the Republican establishment first and only gets to the Democrats later. Corruption isn’t a partisan matter, he says.
Klein, who also has a successful radio program in America called “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” came to the far-right website through his good friend of many years Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive chairman and Trump campaign manager who’s now the president-elect’s strategic adviser. Bannon, who has been accused of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny and racism, recruited Klein a year ago and asked him to launch the site’s Israel desk, which now numbers six employees including Klein.
Klein says he understands why “the establishment” is afraid of Bannon, but he’s deeply dismayed by the anti-Semitic label that’s been attached to his good friend. “He brought me to Breitbart with the actual goal of countering a lot of the misinformation — and lies and smears against Israel in the media,” Klein says.
“He was especially interested actually in exposing the boycott movement against Israel; he was deeply concerned about the growing trends of anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses. So for me now to hear this man who’s a lover of Israel smeared as the exact opposite is incredibly frustrating.”
Also frustrating for Klein is the media’s alleged zeal to put Bannon down. “He really understands the issues. He’s actually quite brilliant,” Klein says, adding that it’s hard to think of anyone more fit for the job of White House strategist.
“When I say the issues, I’m talking about immigration reform in America. I’m talking about border security in America to keep illegal aliens from flowing across the border,” Klein says.
“I think both the Democrats and some Republicans are afraid of him because he wants to stamp out corruption in the establishment of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party,” Klein adds.
“He’s also somebody who understands the economy in America and how to reform it. His enemy is big government — trying to keep the government as much as possible out of the personal lives of Americans. The government just became way too big under Barack Obama.”
As for Bannon’s enthusiasm for the power of darkness, Darth Vader and Satan, and his …read more