Trump Campaign CEO’s Résumé Includes Goldman and ‘Seinfeld’

Ten things to know about Steve Bannon.

How Seinfeld Explains Stephen Bannon

Last year, I wrote a 7,000-word Bloomberg Businessweek cover story on Breitbart News honcho Stephen K. Bannon, who on Wednesday was named chief executive of Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Even in the through-the-looking-glass, bizarro world of the Trump campaign, Bannon stands out as a true character. Want proof? Here are 10 things to know about him.

  1. He’s a former Goldman Sachs M&A banker who started a boutique investment bank with the guy who discovered the band Korn and managed the Backstreet Boys.
  2. In lieu of a full adviser’s fee for a deal he brokered involving a cash-strapped Ted Turner and Castle Rock Entertainment, Bannon said his firm accepted a stake in five shows, including one in its third season regarded as the runt of the litter: Seinfeld. “We calculated what it would get us if it made it to syndication,” Bannon said. “We were wrong by a factor of five.”
  3. To tap into the minds of millennials, he employs a team of young women whom he has dubbed “The Valkyries,” after the war goddesses of Norse mythology. One of the them was Michelle Fields, the Breitbart reporter who was grabbed by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. She later quit.
  4. He likes to wear cargo shorts (see photograph here).
  5. His personal motto is, “Honey badger don’t give a sh-t” (viral video).
  6. He’s also head of the Government Accountability Institute, the nonprofit that produced the anti-Hillary Clinton book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
  7. He’s a filmmaker whose 2011 film about Sarah Palin, The Undefeated, led him to become one of Palin’s closest advisers. 
  8. He hates Paul Ryan—or rather, Breitbart News does. Under Bannon’s auspices, the right-wing site went to Janesville, Wisconsin, to troll the House speaker for having a wall around his home while refusing to endorse Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border.
  9. He once sat in Michael Ovitz’s Beverly Hills mansion and told the former Disney president he was finished. Bannon and his partner bought Ovitz’s failing company, Artists Management Group, for a pittance.
  10. Before his death, Andrew Breitbart called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement.”
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