Surprise! Trump's New Campaign Chief Had A Little Woman-Beating Problem, Allegedly
Get ready to die of shock! Steve Bannon, the captain formerly in charge of the internet hate machine Breitbart dot com, and now in charge of the Donald Trump campaign, was once charged with domestic violence after assaulting his now ex-wife.
According to the police report, obtained by Politico, the couple had an argument about their finances that ended in him violently pulling her wrist and neck so hard he left red marks on both. Charming!
"[O]n New Year’s morning 1996, Bannon’s then-wife asked for a credit card to go shopping, and they argued over whether she should just write a check. This quickly turned into a bigger argument about the couple’s finances and future.
"She told him that maybe he should find another place to live, that she wanted a divorce. [REDACTED] said he laughed at her, and said he would never move out,” the report states.
Bannon had gone out to their car, followed by his then-wife, the report says. She then spat at him, and Bannon “reached up to her from the driver’s seat of his car and grabbed her left wrist. He pulled her down, as if he was trying to pull [her] into the car, over the door."
"[REDACTED] said Mr. Bannon grabbed at neck, also pulling her into the car. She said that she started to fight back striking at his face so he would let go of her. After a short period of time she was able to get away from him,” the report states.
When the officer arrived at the Bannon residence, after his then-wife called 911 and hung up, she told him that there had been several physical altercations in their past (they'd been together for 6 1/2 years and married for seven months at this point).
"In the beginning of their relationship, she said they [had] 3 or 4 argument that became physical and they had been going to counseling. There has not been any physical abuse in their arguments for about the past 4 years. [REDACTED] said they have been arguing a lot, but no violence.”
Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges of “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition” on a spouse, battery and trying to prevent a person from reporting a crime, and they were dismissed when his then-wife didn't show up to the hearing. Which is a thing that happens pretty often in these cases, unfortunately! If the allegations in the police report are true, the most important thing is that she got the hell away from him and they were divorced soon after. Not every victim of domestic violence is able to go through with a trial, especially when there are kids involved, as there were in this case.
Andrea Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, told Politico the police never interviewed him, and that "The bottom line is he has a great relationship with the twins, he has a great relationship with the ex-wife, he still supports them." Which, no, it's not. That is not the bottom line at all. Because A) He's most likely required to support them, and B) As much as we'd like to think a victim of domestic violence would hate her abuser forever and never speak to them again, things are a little bit more complicated in real life. And I think we can all agree that just because a victim forgives her assailant, that doesn't mean that the guy did nothing wrong when he assaulted her. That he's not even explicitly denying that he assaulted his ex-wife says a lot.
And it says a lot that this is the guy in charge of a freaking presidential campaign, particularly given that another guy who held this position, Corey Lewandowski, had a bit of a problem keeping his hands to himself as well. Seriously -- what the hell even is this shit? It's hardly surprising Donald Trump chooses to surround himself with people who are shitty to women, given that he himself is pretty shitty to women -- but it is surprising that any of this is happening in the first place.
On an unrelated note, The Guardian is reporting that Bannon is registered to vote in Florida, a state he does not live in. So he's just a quality person all around, and definitely someone who should be running a Presidential campaign.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse