In the week since Donald Trump's surprising upset over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, the president-elect wasted little time in naming some important White House positions.
In an apparent attempt to assuage establishment Republicans, Trump tapped party Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff. For another top post — senior advisor and chief strategist — Trump selected Steve Bannon, the CEO of his campaign and a highly controversial pick. Like Trump, Bannon has never held office and is a Washington outsider; he is well-known for running a right-wing news organization.
While the chief of staff has long been considered the highest-ranking employee among the president's cadre, a statement from Trump said Bannon and Priebus will be "working as equal partners."
But Bannon's fringe involvement in the political sphere and role in the media has brought harsh criticism against Trump's pick. Here are five things to know about one of the president-elect's right-hand men:
1. Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News
Breitbart is a controversial right-wing news and opinion outlet that the Southern Poverty Law Center said "has been openly promoting the core issues of the Alt-Right," which espouses racist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and white nationalist ideals. Breitbart is especially known for some of its offensive headlines, like "There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews," "Planned Parenthood’s Body Count Under Cecile Richards Is Up to Half a Holocaust" and "Islam Is The Real Rape Culture."
Bannon's currently on leave from the alternative news source since he was named the CEO of Trump's campaign in August, but has touted his experience in the "populist nationalist movement" as longer than Trump's, whom he says "is very late to this party." He has held his post at the online news site since 2012.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke called Bannon's selection "excellent," and Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist and white nationalist thinktank, said Bannon will "push Trump in the right direction."
2. He served in the U.S. Navy and previously worked as an investment banker on Wall Street
Per the Military Times, Bannon served in the Navy for seven years as a surface warfare officer and a special assistant to the Navy's top admiral in the Pentagon. Bannon enlisted after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1976; we went on to obtain a master's from Georgetown University during his service, and later got his MBA from Harvard Business School.
After Harvard, Bannon went to Goldman Sachs to work in mergers and acquisition from the early '80s to 1990, when he and fellow associates left to start a boutique investment firm. From 1998 through 2012, Bannon worked his way through Hollywood, producing, among many titles, a biopic of Sarah Palin and a documentary film critical of the Occupy Movement.
3. Bannon was previously charged with domestic abuse
In 1996, Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident with his then-wife, who claimed Bannon attacked her during a discussion over the couple's finances, according to documents obtained by Politico.
The charges were ultimately dropped when his ex-wife failed to appear in court, and Bannon pleaded not guilty to all accusations
4. His ex-wife accused him of being anti-Semitic
The same ex-wife who accused Bannon of abuse branded the firebrand as an anti-Semite, according to the New York Daily News. In court documents from 2007, Mary Louise Piccard said Bannon didn't want the couple's twin daughters attending the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles because of the number of Jewish students enrolled.
"He said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews," Piccard wrote.
“At the time, Mr. Bannon never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school education.” a spokeswoman for Bannon told the Daily News. The former couple were reportedly in a child custody dispute at the time of the accusation.
5. Bannon said in 2007 that progressives disparage conservative women because they're not "a bunch of dykes"
In a 2011 radio interview, Bannon said the left hates women like Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin because they threaten the progressive narrative.
"And so these women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative,” he said on Political Vindication Radio. "That’s why there are some unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement. That, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England.
"That drives the left insane and that’s why they hate these women."