(JTA) — Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s senior strategist, compared left-wing protesters to Nazi Brownshirts in 2012.
In interviews to promote his film “Occupy Unmasked,” Bannon made several comments likening the Occupy Wall Street protests against income inequality and financial industry predation to the actions of Nazi paramilitaries, CNN reported.
“The Occupy movement is really a combination of the internet, the media and street thugs. Right? It’s a weapon of intimidation,” Bannon said in a September 2012 interview with the radio host Larry Sinclair. “It is the moral equivalent today of the Brownshirts of the 1930s. It’s going to be used as a weapon of intimidation.”
In a 2012 interview with Breitbart.tv, Bannon claimed that the protesters sought to block people from gathering at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I think you see from Occupy Wall Street, you start to see how Brownshirts operated,” Bannon said. “You start to see it as instrument of intimidation, bully tactics.”
Bannon, the former chief of the right-wing news site Breitbart, has proved to be one of Trump’s more controversial appointments. On Friday, the Washington Post reported that in a 2007 proposal for a documentary that was never made, Bannon accused the American Jewish community of being “enablers” of jihad.