Revolutionary Road to Riches

Populist Rage Made Steve Bannon Filthy Rich

Self-styled man of the people Steve Bannon has used his hybrid network of political, Hollywood, and Wall Street connections to become very wealthy.

Win McNamee/Getty

President Trump’s White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon disclosed a lucrative constellation of assets on Friday, shedding light on how the strident populist has leveraged his everyman, nationalist brand of politics into a formidable business.

“I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon told The Hollywood Reporter late last year. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get fucked over.”

In documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics and made public by the White House, Bannon disclosed a net worth of between $9.5 million and $52.7 million. His income last year was between $1.4 million and $2.5 million.

The disclosure form provides a comprehensive look at Bannon’s network of political, media, and entertainment entities amassed during a career spanning Wall Street, Hollywood, and the nation’s capital.

The lion’s share of Bannon’s 2016 income, nearly half a million dollars, came from his consulting company, Bannon Strategic Advisors. Prominent political entities with which Bannon is associated routed their payments to him through the consulting firm, the disclosure form shows.

Pro-Trump news website Breitbart News, data firm Cambridge Analytica, and advertising vendor Glittering Steel all paid Bannon through BSA last year. All three are supported financially by Republican mega-donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, wealthy Trump backers and close Bannon allies who have bankrolled many of his private endeavors.

Glittering Steel, a low-profile film production company, served as “a front for Bannon,” The Daily Beast reported in early November.

Glittering Steel was paid by pro-Trump and pro-Ted Cruz super PACs in the past presidential election cycle. Furthermore, Bannon and GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer were both producers on the documentary film Clinton Cash, which dramatizes the Peter Schweizer book of the same title. The film’s closing credits describe it as a Glittering Steel presentation.

BSA predates his high-profile political activism, and corporate documentation shows it was involved in Bannon ventures such as Genius Products, an entertainment company that owned a minority share of a now-bankrupt division of Hollywood production giant the Weinstein Company.

As it has refocused on Bannon’s political endeavors, BSA also appears to have been involved with the Trump campaign directly. Federal Election Commission filings show that Bannon’s company paid about $7,500 in travel costs for the campaign in late October, for which it was reimbursed.

In addition to financial disclosures, Bannon’s form reveals the dates of his involvement with a number of Trump-supporting entities. But those dates do not appear to match up with information disclosed by the entities themselves.

Breitbart, for instance, sent a letter to the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery late last week stating that Bannon had resigned from the organization “on or about November 13, 2016.” But the disclosure form released on Friday night says that he left earlier, in August of last year, the same month that he officially joined the Trump presidential campaign.

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There is no concrete proof of Bannon actually fully severing ties to Breitbart, or other related or listed entities, beyond his word and the word of his trusted former lieutenants.

Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story on Friday.