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Steve Bannon, Family Research Council Tried to Infiltrate Facebook

Steve Bannon

They sought intel on the company's hiring process, but it's unclear how far they got.

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Steve Bannon and the anti-LGBT Family Research Council tried to gain underground intelligence regarding Facebook's hiring process just before Bannon began running Donald Trump's presidential campaign, BuzzFeed is reporting.

The site obtained emails exchanged by Bannon and FRC staffer Chris Gacek last summer. Bannon was then chair of right-wing news outlet Breitbart, a role to which he has returned after his stints as Trump's campaign chairman and a White House adviser.

Facebook was seeking a public policy manager for its WhatsApp messenger. The duties included meeting with federal government officials and members of Congress to advance the company's public policy goals, and among the requirements were a law degree and 10 years of experience in the field.

"This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB," Gacek told Bannon. The Milo he referred to was Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay right-wing troll who was then Breitbart's tech editor.

Bannon forwarded the email to Yiannopoulos, saying, "Can u get on this." Yiannopoulos sent it to several researchers, and at least one of them said it would be difficult to carry out the task without Facebook executives knowing what was going on.

Bannon, Yiannopoulos, Gacek, the FRC, and Facebook all either declined comment to BuzzFeed or did not respond to its requests, "and it's unclear whether the men's plans ever advanced beyond spitballing on email," BuzzFeed reports.

At any rate, Facebook hired a former staffer for President Obama for the position, according to BuzzFeed -- Christine Turner, who was director of trade policy and global supply chain security in his National Security Council.

Many on the right have criticized Facebook for allegedly suppressing conservative views. "In May 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to meet with dozens of prominent conservatives after a report surfaced that the company's employees prevented right-leaning stories from reaching the platform's 'trending' section," BuzzFeed notes. The company has deflected the criticism to a degree by hiring former staffers for President George W. Bush and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for some public policy positions, BuzzFeed adds.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.