In November 2015, Stephen K. Bannon — then the executive chairman of Breitbart News — was hosting a satellite radio show. His guest was Montana Representative Ryan Zinke, who opposed President Obama’s plan to resettle some Syrian refugees in the United States.
“We need to put a stop on refugees until we can vet,” Mr Zinke said.
Mr Bannon cut him off.
“Why even let ’em in?” he asked.
Mr Bannon said that vetting refugees from Muslim-majority countries would cost money and time. “Can’t that money be used in the United States?” he said. “Should we just take a pause and a hiatus for a number of years on any influx from that area of the world?”
In the years before Mr Bannon grabbed the world’s attention as President Trump’s chief White House strategist, he was developing and articulating a fiery populist vision for remaking the United States and its role in the world.
Mr Bannon’s past statements, aired primarily on Breitbart and other conservative platforms, serve as a road map for the controversial agenda that has roiled Washington and shaken the global order during Mr Trump’s first two weeks in office.