Should Bannon worry us?

He's been called "the most dangerous man in the White House"

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The White House's Thomas Cromwell: Who is Steve Bannon?

Steve Bannon calls himself "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors". Like Cromwell, the chief strategist in the Trump administration came from humble origins but worked his way up to become the most ruthless and powerful operators in his country's politics.

After spending four years in the Navy and graduating from the Harvard Business School, Mr Bannon worked for Goldman Sachs in New York. Although Donald Trump has promised to go after the big banks, his chief strategist has worked for the one of the biggest and started one of his own: Bannon & Co., an investment bank specialising in the media.

Following a spell of documentary filmmaking, discussing conservative figures such as Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, he met Andrew Breitbart who wanted to create a news website to challenge the "liberal-dominated mainstream media".

After the entrepreneur died of a heart attack in 2012, Mr Bannon took over as head of Breitbart News.

Under his guidance, the divisive right-wing opinion and news outlet became what Bloomberg describes as a "haven for people who think Fox News is too polite and restrained".

The website for the alt-right has attracted controversy for its offensive headlines: a conservative commentator was called a "renegade Jew", they claimed that birth control makes women "unattractive and crazy", and the work of Planned Parenthood was compared to the Holocaust.

The statements did not damage Breitbart's popularity. On election night, their Facebook page had the fourth-highest number of interactions, beating CNN, Fox News and the New York Times.

He was appointed Donald Trump's campaign CEO in August 2016, and following his election, Mr Bannon was handed a key White House role.

The "most dangerous political operative in America" was appointed Mr Trump's chief strategist, and described as an "equal" to the newly-appointed White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus.

If Mr Bannon wants to compare himself to the Tudor "Prince of Darkness", he should note Cromwell's rise and more importantly, his fall. One day you can have the King's ear, and the other you can face the metaphorical axe.

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