By Michael S. Williamson/The Washington PostFor a man who’s so deeply invested in his reputation, Steve Bannon’s self-proclaimed “bible” has been a bit of a work in progress.
On Friday, the chief White House strategist gave a commencement address at the University of Virginia.
Bannon, a former aide to the late former President Ronald Reagan, began with a call to the “unbelievable,” a statement he repeated repeatedly throughout the day.
He then took to Twitter to complain about the media’s obsession with the word “bully.”
“The media is obsessed with the bully,” he wrote.
“They love to talk about it.
And yet, they’re so afraid of what it means to be a bully.
The bully is not a man, the bully is a woman.”
Bannon has become one of the most polarizing figures in Washington.
Many liberals and progressives, particularly in the media, have embraced his views and championed him as a defender of traditional American values.
On the other hand, many conservatives have condemned his efforts to remake America in the image of the far right, including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.
Bannon is now facing criticism for some of his most controversial statements.
Last month, he called for the United States to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, and he’s called for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
In a video that aired during the speech, Bannon called for white nationalists to march in the streets and firebomb Jewish cemeteries in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Brazile, a friend and longtime political adviser to President Donald Trump, also took to social media to decry the media coverage of Bannon’s speech.
“I can’t tell you how disappointed and disappointed I am that this speech and Steve’s views were picked up by the media,” she wrote.
She also noted that she had never heard Bannon’s words on the topic.
“When the president says, ‘you know what?
I’m going to do this,’ then you should listen,” she said.
The president, who is a big supporter of Bannon, did not take issue with Brazile’s remarks.
In a statement on Twitter Friday, Brazile wrote that “this has been my personal view since the very beginning, and it’s one that I have shared with Steve.”
She also said that Bannon “is not anti-Semitic, nor does he support violence or hate.”
Braziles comments about Bannon and white supremacists come as other Republican leaders have sought to distance themselves from the chief strategist.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called Bannon a “great American patriot” and said that the former White House chief strategist is “not anti-Semite.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said that while Bannon’s comments “reflect the views of the president, they do not reflect the views or policies of the House of Representatives.”
“As the leader of the Senate, I’m here to serve the American people and they will be able to make up their own minds about Steve Bannon,” Ryan said.
Bethany Chafee, the former president of Harvard Law School, is also backing off of her previous support of Bannon.
On Twitter Friday morning, she wrote that she was “deeply saddened” by Bannon’s remarks and said she was sorry if anyone had taken offense.
“Steve has had the privilege of serving as chief strategist of the Trump campaign and now I’m deeply saddened by his comments about the Jewish community,” Chafeed wrote.