Milo Yiannopoulos, controversial far-right journalist, has resigned from Breitbart News after the release of a video on which Yiannopoulos defends adult men having sexual relationships with young boys.
Yiannopoulos made a name for himself during the 2014 GamerGate controversy, but in recent years he has been known for being one of the most prominent faces of the alt-right. He also supported Donald Trump all throughout the 2016 election, referring to him as “daddy.”
Not only does Yiannopoulos support Trump, but some very prominent members of the Trump White House support Yiannopoulos. Here’s what you need to know about Milo Yiannopoulos, his opinion of Donald Trump, and his relationship with the Trump administration.
1. Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist, Has Praised Yiannopoulos’ Work
Up until this week, Milo Yiannopoulos was a writer for Breitbart News, the website run by Steve Bannon that Bannon himself has described as a platform for the alt-right.
Yiannopoulos has said that Bannon “made me a star,” and Bannon has said that Yiannopoulos’ “brand of unique cultural warfare” is “valuable.”
During his press conference announcing his resignation from Breitbart this week, Yiannopoulos praised Steve Bannon.
“Steve Bannon brought me into Breitbart,” Yiannopoulos said. “Steve Bannon is one of the most formidable and brilliant political operatives of his generation. I have nothing but admiration for the guy.”
Yiannopoulos said, however, that he has not spoken with Bannon in “a very long time.”
Michael Flynn, former national security advisor for Donald Trump, has also praised Milo Yiannopoulos, saying that he is a “phenomenal individual.”
2. Yiannopoulos Has Said That He & Trump Are Both Trolls
A recent op-ed for The New York Times argues that Milo Yiannopoulos is a “mini-Donald.” Yiannopoulos would hardly refute that; in fact, he has in the past argued that he and Trump have the same appeal and that they are both trolls who are constantly seeking attention.
“If there’s one thing I understand it’s attention-seeking,” Yiannopoulos wrote for Breitbart in June 2015. “And Trump is a master of his art. He’s identified the weakness of the current political system, where career politicians speak in soundbites to increasingly disillusioned audiences. He has swooped in to exploit it. Like the trolls, I suspect he’s the only candidate who is in the process purely for the lulz. He can afford to be.”
Yiannopoulos added that both he and Trump “packag[e] an uncomfortable truth in a joke.”
3. He Defended Donald Trump’s Crass Comments, Including His Attack on Ted Cruz’s Wife
Donald Trump was criticized in March 2016 for retweeting an image mocking the looks of Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz’s wife.
Not only did Yiannopoulos see no issue with this, but he said that it is actually a good thing to attack a political opponent’s wife as being ugly.
“Trump’s crass tweets and objectionable comments may not be comfortable reading for old-fashioned conservatives who appreciate decency and good manners, but they are helping to break the language codes that were primarily set up by the left, for the left,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “Trump is destroying old notions of what’s acceptable and unacceptable to say, and the primary losers of his new paradigm will be left-wingers and establishment types.”
Yiannopoulos went on to say that the loss of Mitt Romney in 2012 was proof that presidential candidates shouldn’t try to be “nice” and that “nice guys finish last.” He also said that by not apologizing for attacking the looks of Heidi Cruz, Trump was “changing culture,” specifically the culture in which celebrities and politicians apologize after offending people.
“Only by totally ignoring people’s feelings can we end the left’s culture of grievance, offense, and victimhood,” Yiannopoulos said. “It’s what I’ve been doing for years, and it’s what Trump is now doing on the national stage.”
4. He Held a ‘Gays for Trump’ Event at the Republican National Convention & Said Trump Is the Most Pro-LGBT Candidate Ever
During the Republican National Convention in July 2016, Milo Yiannopoulos held a “Gays for Trump” event, and he said that Trump was the “most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history.”
In a speech, Yiannopoulos argued that the right, not the left, are the defenders of LGBT rights, adding, “The left’s stranglehold on homosexuals is over.” The event focused largely on condemning Islam and praising Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
The following month, Yiannopoulos wrote for Breitbart that Trump had made it “cool to be gay again.”
“Many gay people are afraid of coming out as a Trump supporter, or a conservative, and some have even claimed it to be a harder feat than coming out as a homosexual,” he said. “One poor queen even got beaten up for it. Because of this, there was an air of subversion and rebellion around the Gays for Trump event in Cleveland a few weeks ago, something gay people have sorely missed since mainstream politicians started joining us on pride parades, and pandering to our every hissy fit.”
Yiannopoulos specified that Trump is the most pro-gay candidate in history because he is tough on Islam, which he said is more important than civil rights issues.
“[Trump] knows that Islam, unlike Christian bakeries in flyover country, poses a real, existential threat to gay people,” Yiannopoulos said.
5. When UC Berkeley Canceled a Yiannopoulos Event, Trump Threatened to Block Their Federal Funding
Donald Trump has never expressed support for Milo Yiannopoulos or acknowledged him by name. But earlier this month, when UC Berkley canceled a Yiannopoulos event, Trump threatened to block the school’s federal funding.
Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk at the college in early February, but the university canceled the event after protests broke out on campus. These demonstrations turned violent and resulted in buildings on the campus being locked down.
The following morning, Trump tweeted, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”