There has been quite a bit of speculation these past few days regarding Donald Trump’s true intentions regarding his recent campaign staffing moves. Besides bringing on Kellyanne Conway to serve as his new campaign manager, Trump hired Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon to be the campaign’s CEO, and former Fox News head Roger Ailes is serving as an unofficial adviser. With that in mind, it seems obvious from the outside looking in that Trump is looking at creating his own media empire after the election, considering he loses (which seems highly likely at this point).
Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday, an ex-employee of Bannon’s essentially confirmed that the plan was definitely in place. Kurt Bardella, who served as Breitbart’s spokesman before quitting in March over the company’s treatment of Michelle Fields, told host Brian Stelter that it wasn’t a conspiracy theory — this is something that most certainly is happening.
From CNN’s transcript of the program:
BARDELLA: There is no doubt that there is a broader plan at play to extend the Trump brand and a conversation that they’re initiating right now beyond the November election.
STELTER: Do you really think there’s no doubt? Because I think Trump supporters would say, are you guys crazy? This is a conspiracy theory.
BARDELLA: I think that they’re vastly underestimating the type of people that he surrounded himself and why he’s actually done so. When you have a person who up until a week ago was running a major audience-driven media entity in Breitbart in Steve Bannon, when you know he’s obviously having regularly conversations with Roger Ailes who helped build FOX News, there’s not doubt that you don’t bring people like that into your orbit versus traditional campaign personnel who know how to run national campaigns, get out the vote, broadening your base.
Look what he’s doing and look at his messaging. He’s talking — he’s making the case every day of when he loses this election, it will be because the media had it out for him and we need an alternative to make sure this never happens again. It’s writing itself.
Bardella makes a completely compelling case. Considering he was very close to Bannon at one point, he can spot the messaging going on within the campaign and see exactly where this is heading. Trump is planting the seeds, seeds he bought from Bannon, regarding the unfair and crooked media. He’ll lose in November, but only because the press had it out for him, and therefore, he will take it upon himself to give REAL AMERICA the media they deserve. The dots are already connected.
Bardella also highlighted how Breitbart, even before Bannon officially joined Team Trump, acted as a communications arm of the Trump campaign.
Via the transcript:
BARDELLA: I think you look at it as de facto super PAC and really for the last year, year and a half in the Republican primary, they have been the rapid response arm of the Trump campaign. Any time —
STELTER: Rapid response arm of the Trump campaign. Let’s underscore that. You’re saying it’s even further to the right than FOX News?
BARDELLA: Oh my gosh. It’s not even — they make FOX News look like MSNBC. I think that any time there was a controversy, something that Trump may have said that was generating headlines, Breitbart was the first destination that you could go do at the time to see in real time what the Trump line of thinking was. It was the most sympathetic voice for Trump and anyone in the mainstream media would in any way characterize or attack or question Trump’s tactics, they were the place that you could go for that sympathetic for Trump.
This is absolutely right. If you’ve paid attention to Breitbart over the past year or so, anytime Trump found himself in hot water over his comments or actions, which has been pretty much daily, Breitbart has gotten up stories right away to defend him. Hell, they through their own employee directly under the bus in order to appease their guy. Trump couldn’t have hired a better comm director than Bannon and Co.
With Trump seeing the election slipping out of his grasp, as swing states have now turned solid blue and reliably red states are now battlegrounds, he decided that it was time to set Operation Trumpbart in action months ahead of schedule.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of CNN: