Stephen Bannon, Trump's campaign adviser in anti-semitism row

Bannon\'s ex-wife, said the new campaign chief had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy.

Published: 28th August 2016 11:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2016 04:44 PM   |  A+A-

Campaign 2016 Trump_Mukh (1)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (File Photo | AP)

Donald Trump's campaign director is facing allegations of anti-semitism, in the latest scandal to roil the presidential candidate who says he prides himself on hiring "the best people".

In a sworn court declaration, Stephen Bannon's ex-wife, said the new campaign chief had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he "didn't want the girls going to school with Jews".

"He said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats'," Mary Louise Piccard wrote in 2007.

Ms Piccard said that when she told him that a competing school also had a proportion of Jewish children, he asked "what the percentage was".

When visiting another school, Ms Piccard said Mr Bannon asked the director why there were so many Hanukkah books in the library. The allegations were made during their bitter divorce and child custody battle.

Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Mr Bannon, said that he "never said anything like that", adding that he had "proudly" sent his daughters to the first-choice elite school in question.

As the campaign enters its crucial final months, Mr Trump has made, albeit haphazard, efforts to appeal to America's ethnic minority vote.

In a major development, he seemed to row back his immigration policy, suggesting not all illegal immigrants would be expelled from the country.

But critics have also said Mr Trump's campaign is fanning the flames of the country's ultra-Right, and Mr Bannon was previously head of Breitbart, a hard-Right controversial news site.

Hillary Clinton has attacked the hiring of Mr Bannon and said Mr Trump has associated himself with "alt-Right" themes during his campaign, including nationalism and race separation.

Mr Trump's campaign denies that is engaging in "dog-whistle politics". But it is seen by many white supremacist movements as elevating issues they care about to the national stage and he has been endorsed by David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan.

Mr Trump has expended little effort in explaining how he would implement his policies if he became president.

Instead, he has promised his supporters that, as a real estate businessman, he knows how to hire the right people to get the job done.

Senior employees of most presidential campaigns are vetted before being hired. However, Mr Trump is notorious for operating on gut instinct. Earlier this year, he plucked a woman from the audience of a press conference and offered her a job at his company.

But his hirings have resulted in near constant hot water. Paul Manafort, Mr Trump's campaign manager, was forced to resign after investigators found he had been named as someone who was to receive millions of undisclosed cash payments from Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian leader of Ukraine.

Corey Lewandowski, his predecessor in the role, was charged with battery for assaulting a female journalist, a charge that was later dropped.

The Trump campaign has just hired Bill Stepien, a former top aide to Chris Christie, who was fired by the New Jersey governor for playing a role in the Bridgegate corruption scandal.

Ms Piccard has also filed charges accusing her ex-husband of domestic violence. And, on Friday, it was revealed that Mr Bannon was registered to vote in Florida, a key swing state, at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump's new campaign manager, said she was unaware of the multiple controversies surrounding Mr Bannon. "I don't know what he was aware of with respect to a 20-year-old claim where the charges were dropped," she told ABC News. "So all I know about is what I read."

Harold Bornstein, Mr Trump's physician for more than three decades, has also told NBC news that he spent only "five minutes" crafting the only public certificate of Mr Trump's health.

He said he rushed the letter because a limousine was waiting for Mr Trump.

"I thought about it all day and at the end I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed," he said. "So I try to get four or five lines down as fast as possible so that they would be happy."

Dr Bornstein also admitted that he had used language that the 70-year-old, known for his emphatic use of adjectives, would enjoy. His laboratory tests are therefore described as "astonishingly excellent". His cardiovascular system is "excellent" and his strength and stamina are "extraordinary".

"If elected, Mr Trump," Dr Bornstein wrote, "I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."


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