War Room (sometimes referred to as Bannon’s War Room) is the podcast former Trump campaign and administration advisor Steve Bannon has been hosting since 2019. The podcast—which he prefers to think of as a TV show since it includes a lot of visuals—is recorded six days a week from the basement of a Washington, D.C., townhouse he calls the “the Breitbart Embassy” and is distributed via mainstream platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music, though YouTube banned it after the insurrection.
CNN has described War Room as “Trump’s banned Twitter account revived in audio form.” Jennifer Senior, a staff writer at The Atlantic who profiled Bannon in a July/August 2022 piece called American Rasputin, describes him as “the number one roaring outboard motor of disinformation in the United States right now.” War Room primarily focuses on Trump, his presidency, and endless accusations of a stolen election and has provided a platform for many guests close to the former administration, as well as to right-wing conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, who, in a July 2022 appearance, said, “I’m gushing because literally we are in the arena and you and I—and you at a greater level… they are so scared of you.”
The podcast is a frequent site for airing grievances and thinly veiled threats of violence and rebellion against the federal government. In August 2022, Vox published an article about Trump’s response to the Mar-a-Lago search, writing: “His conspiracy theories about the FBI search have spawned a GOP assault on the legitimacy of the American state—and set the stage for violence.” Bannon then responded with: “The ‘American state.’ And they are absolutely correct. You said the quiet part out loud. We are a threat to the American state.”
January 6, 2021
- Bannon’s incendiary statement on War Room on Jan. 5, 2021 foreshadowed the insurrection. “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” he said. “Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s gonna be moving. It’s gonna be quick.”
- Cynthia Hughes from the nonprofit Patriot Freedom Project has been a frequent guest on War Room. Together, they routinely characterize the insurrectionists who were arrested for storming the Capitol as “political prisoners.”
- In July 2022, as Bannon went to trial for his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, alt-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who was filling in for Bannon on War Room, said the contempt of Congress charges were a “political hit job.”
The Big Lie
- Trump confidants Boris Epshteyn and Rudy Guiliani appeared on War Room to spread lies about election fraud in Maricopa County, Arizona. Epshteyn said that Maricopa County was “polluted” by “74,000 extra votes,” while Guiliani claimed without providing any evidence that ballots had been forged by “Democratic operatives.”
- Bannon is known to cut off guests on War Room who admit that Trump lost the election. Economist Stephen Moore told Bannon on the podcast, “I am so frustrated right now because I really believe if Trump—if the American people had not made such a big mistake in November, and I think people recognize they did—.” Bannon then interrupted with: “You mean in not fighting hard enough to make sure that we got to the steal? Dude, you’re in the War Room.”
- When prominent election conspiracy theorist Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) appeared on War Room in September 2021, he said, “In my judgment, if only lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens were counted, Donald Trump won the election.”
- In April 2022, when Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) appeared on War Room to discuss the state’s interim audit report, he said that people “should be concerned about the way the 2020 election was handled.” Arizona audit results later confirmed that there was no fraud and nothing was found that could undermine the 2020 election results.
- In May 2021, U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell (R-Penn.) appeared on War Room to say that he would welcome a full audit of his state’s election results after previously claiming he was not interested in “re-litigating” the 2020 election results.
- In August 2021, Trump’s former Chief of Staff Reince Preibus appeared on Bannon’s podcast to discuss the need for a taxpayer-funded audit in Wisconsin. Bannon said that Wisconsin was the site of the “most clear-cut steal.” Preibus nodded in agreement and said that the state government should spend “$680,000, at least, to start.”