Donald Trump’s infamous escalator ride, after which he announced that he was running for the White House, reminded Steve Bannon of the Nazi propaganda film ‘Triumph of the Will’, according to a new book published on Tuesday.
The book, “Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted, written by the New York Times reporter Jeremy W Peters, spotlights the fracturing of the Republican party and its journey spanning at least three decades.
It mentions how the White House strategist and close Trump ally repeatedly invoked Nazi leader Hitler when talking about Mr Trump, including his unpopular escalator ride.
When the former president in 2015 descended from the elevator to enter the atrium at one of the Trump Towers ahead of announcing his presidential ambition to enter the White House, the film “flashed” through Mr Bannon’s mind, reported The Guardian.
Peters wrote: “Triumph opens with a shot of Hitler’s aircraft high above Nuremberg as it begins descending through the clouds. When it touches down in a field, the massive crowd that has assembled to greet their leader rejoices. Hitler smiles as he drinks in the adulation.”
“Bannon thought that Trump’s entrance looked strikingly similar, and that he was witnessing someone with an uncanny sense for manipulating public perception,” the author wrote.
Mr Trump was cheered on by dozens waiting for him at the atrium but reports showed that they were mainly paid actors who got $50 (£36.8) per pop for cheering him on.
An email sent by a casting firm showed how background actors were briefed about the requirement.
“We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement,” according to The Hollywood reporter.
It added: “We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job,’ but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.”
The documentary “Triumph of the Will” went on to become a landmark film on Hitler and the Nuremberg Nazi Party of Congress in 1934.
This is not the first time uncanny comparisons have been made between Mr Trump and Hitler and the Nazis before.
Mr Trump was reported to keep a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed, according to a report by Vanity Fair in 1990.
“…Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed,” according to the report.
He is also known to crack a family joke where he clicks his heels and says “Heil Hitler”.
A common insight provider on Mr Trump, Mr Bannon also made another reference comparing the former president with Hitler.
“Trump did not win in 2016 … Hillary Clinton lost” and complaining that Trump never recognised as much. He also complains that during the 2020 election, aides showed Trump misleading polling data in order to mask his deficit to Biden and thereby avoid outbreaks of fury,” the report quoting the book added.
“It’s like showing Hitler fake armour divisions when the Reichstag is burning down,” Bannon said, according to the report.