Former presidential advisor and Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon took center stage at The Citadel Friday night as he gave a keynote speech at the annual Patriot Dinner put on by The Citadel Republican Society.
Before Bannon took the stage more than 100 protesters gathered outside The Citadel to voice their concerns about Bannon’s appearance at the military school.
Bannon spoke about several issues during the night including President Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
“When the pressure is on she will make the wrong decision,” Bannon said of Clinton.”That’s how I knew we would beat her. And Donald Trump makes smart decisions.”
Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton were also in attendance.
At one point, a protester interrupted Bannon’s speech.
“You got a right to free speech…outside,” Bannon said.
— Alexis Simmons (@AlexisLive5) November 11, 2017
Protesters said they were not in favor of the visit because of what some call Bannon’s extreme conservative views.
Community activists had met with The Citadel’s commanding officer, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, earlier in hopes of trying to stop the visit, but they were unsuccessful. Rosa released a statement saying the college will continue to be a safe venue where ideas for many points of viewpoints will be shared though they don’t endorse political figures
In a radio interview, Templeton told The Associated Press Bannon represents “the voice of the rest of us.” Last week, she said she’s remained in touch with Bannon, whom she met while being vetted for a U.S. Labor Department position.
Bannon first gained national attention as the head of Breitbart, a conservative website known for posting sometimes antisemitic, white nationalist and white supremacist views.
Security was tight for Friday night’s event and attendees were to be prepared to show their ticket and a photo ID at checkpoints at the venue.
In addition a number of streets were closed for the event and opened a little before 10:30 p.m.
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