Julia Hahn ’09 has joined the Trump administration as a Special Assistant to the President after leaving her previous job as a Breitbart News reporter Jan. 24.
Hahn works directly under President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, her former boss at Breitbart News.
“Steve is a fearless voice for people who have been made voiceless, and it is an honor to have worked with him,” Hahn said in a Breitbart article.
Trump selected former Breitbart Executive Chairman Bannon as his Chief Stategist last year. As a result, talk surrounding Breitbart News, a right-wing website whose critics contend is a hate site, has increased.
“I would hope that coming out of our history classes, students would have an understanding of the major issues that have shaped American politics, that they would have opinions based on evidence, and that they would know the difference between fact and opinion,” history teacher Nini Halkett said.
At Harvard-Westlake, Hahn participated in mock trial, worked with Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church to improve Prefect Council, played in jazz band, and created a fundraiser for orphan children to get American host families.
“I taught Julia in APUSH, and she was an excellent student,” Halkett said. “She was rather soft-spoken as I recall, so I guess no, I didn’t really see her headed to work for an organization like Breitbart or a person like Bannon.”
Hahn earned notoriety for her criticism of establishment Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who holds conservative views on immigration, including extreme vetting for visa applicants and reducing the number of legal immigrants.
Hahn also focused on immigration in her pieces for Breitbart News, where she worked under alum and Breitbart editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow ’04, along with Bannon. Hahn holds similar views to Sessions on immigration.
“She was pretty quiet in class–though, when we hit the 20th Century, she spoke up more,” history teacher Katherine Holmes-Chuba said. “She was also in the jazz band, so we talked about music too. To be honest, I am pretty surprised to hear that she ended up a journalist and writing for Breitbart. Of course, quite a bit of time has passed since 10th grade.”
After graduating from Harvard-Westlake, Hahn majored in philosophy at The University of Chicago. Hahn also worked for talk show host Laura Ingraham before moving to the website in 2015.
“I do hope that history classes at Harvard-Westlake influence our students to examine the past and link it to the present, and, above all, to inform themselves in all ways possible when making any sort of political decisions,” Holmes-Chuba said.