Steve Bannon: Donald Trump’s Controversial Senior Counselor and Alt-Right Hero

Criticism of Bannon stems from his leadership of Breitbart News.

Top Democrats in Congress and prominent anti-defamation groups decry Bannon's appointment and point to his rhetoric and leading role with Breitbart News as indications that he holds white nationalist and anti-Semitic views.

Under Bannon's leadership, Breitbart has published articles with such headlines as "Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew," "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy" and "There's No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews."

In an interview with ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast, a former Breitbart spokesman, Kurt Bardella, described conference calls with Bannon as similar to "attending a white supremacist rally" and accused him of having nationalist ideals and "hatred for immigrants."

In a Buzzfeed report, some Breitbart employees accused the site of having a financial agreement with Trump to publish positive coverage of his campaign.

Members of Trump's team defended Bannon today against the accusations.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, who was hired at the same time as Bannon, argued that people "should look at the full resume."

Bannon said that the alt-right appeal to racists was happenstance.

"Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe," he told Mother Jones. "Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements."

A spokeswoman for Bannon told ABC News that he has a great relationship with his ex-wife and their children.

Regardless of those controversies, Bannon will continue to have a direct ear to the president-elect as chief strategist and senior counselor.

ABC's Katherine Faulders and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.

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