Before becoming President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon proudly displayed a picture of himself in the style of a famous painting of Napoleon Bonaparte at his personal office, according to a recent profile in New York Magazine. The portrait, meant to mimic one painted by Jacques Louis-David which shows Napoleon posing in his study at Tuileries, was given to Bannon by Nigel Farage, the far-right British politician who was a central player in 2016's Brexit campaign.
As Uproxx points out, the real Napoleon portrait is currently displayed in Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, a publicly-funded museum which could face massive cuts if the Trump team’s proposed budget is eventually passed through congress. It turns out that in Bannon’s eyes, art is only important enough to save if he’s the one featured in it.
Trump- Jr is in trouble & I need a distraction— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) July 10, 2017
Bannon- I have a painting of myself as Napoleon that you can leak
Trump- Leak? I want one! pic.twitter.com/acGrpGadrI
Of course, it’s not unusual for politicians to furnish their rooms with memorabilia from their favorite political thinkers and leaders. What’s surprising is Bannon’s unflinching willingness to depict himself as one of history’s most renowned and controversial dictators.
Bannon’s connection with Farage is also troubling. The far-right British leader is now being considered as a person of interest in the FBI Investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to The Guardian. Farage had recently met with WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange who helped release thousands of hacked emails meant to sabotage the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Bannon's radical political tactics have recently been overshadowed by other political figures, namely Jared Kushner who endorsed the firing of FBI director James Comey despite Bannon’s steadfast warning against such hostile action. As the Russian probe grows ever-closer to the president’s inner-circle, Trump is once again relying on his former right-hand man to offer vital political strategies in the midst of a barrage of new media attacks.
Bannon has often been viewed as somewhat of a political outsider in the White House. But as his former friendship with Farage reveals, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he cannot really provide an outsider's perspective when it comes to the Russian investigation.
Thumbnail Credit: Flickr, Gage Skidmore