Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, a Republican mega-donor and one of the most influential Jewish GOP voices in the nation, is defending Donald Trump’s pick of a strategist Steve Bannon as his top White House advisor. Bannon is executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has served as a platform for many with anti-Semitic, white nationalist and racist views.
In a statement passed around on Twitter, Marcus called Bannon “a passionate Zionist” and cast the attacks on him as an attempt to undermine the president-elect’s administration.
“What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda,” he said. That’s Yiddish for “shame.” The entire statement, posted on Breitbart News, of course:
I have known Steve Bannon for many years. I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve. Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know. These attacks on Steve are nothing more than an attempt to undermine the incoming Trump Administration. I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out. What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda.
Marcus also recently spoke at an Atlanta Jewish Breakfast Club roundtable. From the Atlanta Jewish Times:
Trump was not his first or even 10th pick for the Republican nomination, Marcus told the more than 70 attendees, but once the party selected the New York businessman, Marcus embraced him as preferable to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump is a breath of fresh air,” Marcus said, and he poses a threat to government employees standing in the way of economic growth. “Every bureaucrat in Washington is a monster.”
Marcus, the father of AJT owner and publisher Michael Morris, has no interest in a formal role in the Trump administration but said he will make himself available whenever the new president wants his advice.
Insider’s note: This item was ripped from the Morning Jolt.