USA Today sifted through audio recordings made by US President Donald Trump’s top political adviser to reveal a man that could radically change America’s foreign policy.
Steve Bannon, an ultra-conservative former media executive, used to run a radio program on Breitbart, a news website Bannon headed that has been denounced by The New York Times as “misogynist, xenophobic and racist.”
This week, Bannon was given by Trump a seat on the National Security Council.
One of those recordings, posted on Soundcloud.com in March 2016, brought up a dispute between China and Washington over the South China Sea.
“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that,” Bannon said.
“They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face — and you understand how important face is — and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”
Bannon is considered Trump’s right-hand man, the president’s chief political strategist during the election and recently called by TIME as probably “the second most powerful man in the world.”
The Trump administration has gotten off to a tumultuous start.
Its selective immigration ban has been met with domestic and international backlash.
On Thursday, Trump went off on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement, calling it “the worst call by far” in his presidency.