Donald Trump's new campaign chief executive has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish schoolchildren by his ex-wife, court documents have revealed. Stephen Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News, reportedly made a series of offensive comments nearly 10 years ago when he and his former wife, Mary Louise Piccard, clashed over where to educate their twin daughters.
In a sworn court declaration following their divorce, Piccard said Bannon objected to sending their daughters to the elite Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles because of has Jewish students.
"The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend," Piccard said in a 2007 court filing. "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," Piccard added.
The court papers were reviewed by the Associated Press (AP) on Friday, 26 August.
"I told him that there are children who are Jewish at [a competing school], and he asked me what the percentage was. I told him that I didn't know because it wasn't an issue for me as I am not raising the girls to be either anti-Semitic or prejudiced against anyone," she said.
A spokeswoman for Bannon rejected accusations of anti-Semitism. "Mr Bannon never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school education," Alexandra V Preate of CapitalHQ said.
Just a day before the latest revelations, Bannon found himself under the spotlight after it emerged that domestic violence charges were filed against him 20 years ago following an altercation with Piccard. She claimed that her former husband attacked her in their California home in 1996 and "arranged for me to leave town until the trial was over and it was ok for me to return home."
The charges were dropped after Piccard failed to show up at trial, according to court records.
The former head of Breitbart News was hired by the Republican nominee to run his presidential election campaign earlier this month.
"The hiring of Bannon does make Trump's appeal to the alt-right explicit," a Washington Post opinion piece noted. The alt-right – or 'alternative right' – is frequently associated with efforts from the American far right movement to preserve "white identity", oppose multiculturalism and defend supposed "Western values", the AP reported.
Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering attack on Trump on Thursday, 25 August, linking him with the alt-right. In return, the GOP nominee bashed his Democratic counterpart as a "bigot who sees people of colour only as votes, not as human beings".
Breitbart News was founded as a right-wing news website by the conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart in 2007 as a news aggregation site. In 2010, Andrew Breitbart redesigned the site, claiming he intended it to become the "Huffington Post of the right". Bannon took over running the site when Andrew Breitbart died in 2012.
Bannon took over running the site when Andrew Breitbart died in 2012. He announced that he would temporarily step down as the site's executive chairman when he accepted the role running Trump's election campaign.