Trump adviser hails 'new political order'
- 23 February 2017
- From the section US & Canada
The chief strategist to President Donald Trump has said that his election victory has ushered in a "new political order".
Steve Bannon vowed at a conservative conference to bring together those of "wide and sometimes divergent opinions" in support of "economic nationalism".
"We are a nation with a culture and a reason for being," the normally behind-the-scenes adviser told the audience.
He said the president was "maniacally focused" on pursuing his agenda.
"I've said that there's a new political order that's being formed out of this. And it's still being formed," he said.
The former editor of Breitbart News Network appeared with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
Vice-President Mike Pence will address the conference later on Thursday, and President Trump will speak on Friday.
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The joint appearance comes amid speculation that the two men are competing for power and influence within the Trump White House.
But the two men, who come from very different political backgrounds, attempted to dispel any rumours of their reported division and insisted they work closely in a partnership.
"The truth of the matter is [Trump] brought together the party and the conservative moment, and I've got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together, it can't be stopped," Mr Priebus said.
Itching for a fight - Anthony Zurcher, BBC News
Steve Bannon is ready for war. Against progressives and protesters. Against the corporatist, globalist media. Even against those in his own party who are telling President Donald Trump to moderate his views or steer clear of controversial policies.
Sitting next to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the former Republican Party leader who could be a poster boy for the conservative establishment, Bannon said all the right things.
They're working together. The key players in the Trump administration are full of mutual respect. They're busy advancing the president's agenda.
In words and attitude, however, it is clear who is plotting the course of this presidency.
Priebus, as Bannon said, keeps the trains running on time. Bannon, as Priebus concedes, is ensuring the president honours his promises.
Those are promises Bannon, perhaps more than anyone else, helped Candidate Trump make.
That includes "deconstructing the administrative state", advancing an "economic nationalist agenda" and essentially reshaping the existing economic and political world order.
It's a tall task, but the self-professed hot-tempered Bannon is itching for a fight.
Mr Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, was viewed as a liaison between the party establishment and Mr Trump's populist campaign.
Mr Bannon, formerly the driving force behind the anti-establishment Breitbart News, is considered one of Mr Trump's key advisers.
The president named Mr Bannon on the crucial National Security Committee at the expense of the joint chiefs of staff, an unprecedented move that signalled his influence on the administration.
During his appearance on Thursday, Mr Bannon repeated his attack on the media, describing members of the press as the "opposition party" who are "always wrong" about Mr Trump.
"I think if you look at, you know, the opposition party," Mr Bannon said, referring to the media.
"How they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and how they're portraying the administration - it's always wrong," he told Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosted the conference.
Referring to the "corporatist, globalist media", he said: "If you [the audience] think they're going to give you your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken."
White House senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway also spoke at the annual conservative event, sparking online backlash over her version of "conservative feminism".
Ms Conway said it was difficult for her to call herself feminist because she is not "anti-male" and "pro-abortion".
She added she was a "product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances", which she described as "conservative feminism".
Ms Conway also criticised the Women's March, saying: "It turns out a lot of women don't like women in power".
Merriam-Webster responded on Twitter, sharing the definition of feminism as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities".