Steve Bannon: How Trump's senior adviser made a fortune opposing his own economic nationalism

Steve Bannon: How Trump's senior adviser made a fortune opposing his own economic nationalism
Steve Bannon walks to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base to travel with President Donald Trump to Louisville, Kentucky. Andrew Harnik/AP
Steve Bannon walks to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base to travel with President Donald Trump to Louisville, Kentucky. Andrew Harnik/AP

President Donald Trump's controversial anti-globalist senior White House adviser Steve Bannon  is not what he seems. The former Breitbart executive, according to legally required financial filings, has been making his fortune from a network of organizations connected to the Mercer family. 

This network includes global consulting services that would seem to directly oppose his hard-line economic nationalist views.

The man who famously claimed that "globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia" is now being taken to task for, as the Chicago Tribune puts it, being a "creature of corporatism, wealth-building and international finance."

Steve Bannon listens as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Steve Bannon listens as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Andrew Harnik/AP

Trump's right-hand man is still for sale.

Bannon's stunningly transparent financial and employment history shows a wealthy man whose extremist ideology doesn't reach to his own wallet.

Aside from his more than $13 million in assets, the roughly $2.3 million in reported income on the recent filing shows that Bannon has continued to reap the benefits of Bannon Strategic Advisors and Mercer-family-backed entities.

The shadowy Mercer family backed Donald Trump in the general election and remains an enigma to their own colleagues, given their penchant for funding projects designed to, as the Atlantic explains, overturn the "modern conservative movement" while simultaneously bankrolling its key players in politics.

Vice President Mike Pence and Steve Bannon attend a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Vice President Mike Pence and Steve Bannon attend a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Andrew Harnik/AP

Bannon is walking away from his financial conflicts... maybe.

CNBC reports that Bannon has agreed to sell some of his financial stakes "in principle." When this is supposed to occur and how it will work remains a bit of a mystery.

Given the Trump White House's dizzying array of financial conflicts and general disregard for the ethical norms of the executive branch, it's a bit hard to take Bannon's promise too seriously.

The baldfaced disparity between Bannon's public ideology and financial holdings is just a cog in the wheel of an administration that's wallowing in the swamp it promised to drain.