Donald Trump’s campaign director is facing allegations of anti-Semitism, in the latest scandal to roil the presidential bid of a man who has said that he prides himself on hiring “the best people”.
In a sworn court declaration, Stephen Bannon’s ex-wife, said the newly hired Trump 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’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” Mary Louise Piccard wrote on 27 June 2007.
Ms Piccard said that when she pointed out to her then husband that a competing school also had a proportion of Jewish children he asked “what the percentage was”.
Then, 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 in court filings that formed part of Ms Piccard’s argument in a bitter divorce and protracted child custody battle which have been obtained by US media this week.
Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Mr Bannon flatly denied the claims, saying that Mr Bannon never said anything like that.”
She added 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, at one point suggesting that not all illegal immigrants would be expelled from the country.
But Mr Trump is at the same time facing accusations that his campaign is fanning the flames of the country’s ultra right wing. Mr Bannon was previously the head of Breitbart, a hard right controversial news site.
Hillary Clinton has attacked him for the hire and claimed that Mr Trump has associated himself with alt-right themes throughout his campaign, including nationalism and race separation.
The Trump campaign denies that it is engaging in ‘dog whistle’ politics.
But it is nonetheless seen by many white supremacist movements as elevating issues they care about to the national stage. He is supported by David Duke, the former head of the Klu Klux Klan.
Throughout his presidential bid, Mr Trump has expended little effort in explaining how he would implement his policies were he to become president.
Instead the larger than life real estate mogul has asked his supporters to have faith, promising that, as a businessman, he knows how to hire the right people to get the job done.
Senior employees of most presidential campaigns are vetted, their pasts picked over with a fine tooth comb, before being hired. Mr Trump however is notorious for operating on gut instinct. Earlier this year he plucked a women from the audience of a press conference and offered her a job at his company.
But thus far, his hirings have left him 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 Victor 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.
As well as anti-Semitism allegations, Ms Piccard, Mr Bannon ex-wife has filed charges accusing him of domestic violence. And on Friday the campaign chief made headlines again, when it was discovered that he 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 that’s all I know about is what I read.
Almost every aspect of Mr Trump’s campaign has landed him in unorthodox controversies, including the required doctor’s certificate.
Harold Bornstein, Mr Trump’s physician for more than three decades, has 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 Trump limousine had waited impatiently outside for him to finish.
“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 Bernstein also admitted he had used language that Mr Trump who is known for his emphatic use of adjectives, would enjoy. The 70-year-old mogul’s laboratory tests are therefore described as “astonishingly excellent”. His cardiovascular system is “excellent, and his strength and stamina are “extraordinary.”
“If elected, Mr. Trump,” the doctor wrote, “I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
News Source TelegraphNews