The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘Breitbart Embassy’ on Capitol Hill suddenly has more cachet

Breitbart’s 2014 CPAC party had a “speakeasy” theme. (Emily Heil/The Washington Post)

The White House will always be Washington’s most impressive address, but in a Trump administration, there’s another spot with plenty of cachet: the Capitol Hill rowhouse known as the “Breitbart Embassy.”

The stately mansion located near the Supreme Court holds offices sometimes used by the right-wing media organization — which was (is? the ties are still unclear) led by Stephen K. Bannon, the top campaign aide to President-elect Donald Trump who was named the incoming president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. According to one person with knowledge of how the house is used, it isn’t typically the site of the media organization’s day-to-day operations, but Bannon would often hold team meetings around its elegant dining table.

Work aside, the brick dwelling also functions as a party house for the city’s conservative class.

Annual soirees include those timed near the Conservative Political Action Committee’s conference and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s glitzy dinner, plus the odd book party celebrating a conservative author. Many of the festivities at the formally decorated (think ornate chandeliers, swag curtains and oil paintings) venue are extravagant affairs: the 2014 CPAC party featured “speakeasy” theme, along with a 17-piece swing band, free-flowing champagne and cigar rollers.

A rightward tilt isn’t essential to make it on the guest list, which often includes members of the benighted “liberal media.” Such party-hosting is central to the house’s mission, Bannon told us at the time. “Andrew said that if you didn’t have a place within spitting distance of the Capitol, no one would come,” he said, referring to Andrew Breitbart, the media company’s late founder. “He loved to throw big parties.”

In addition to offices in the carriage house and the basement, there are living quarters there, and Bannon reportedly uses the upper levels of the four-bedroom residence as his Washington crash pad. According to D.C. property records, the house is owned by Moustafa el Gindy, a former member of the Egyptian parliament who is now a member of the country’s opposition party. It has long been unclear what, if any, his relationship is with the Breitbart crew, other than that of landlord.

And now that Bannon has secured the ear of the incoming president, Washington’s social watchers expect to see the “embassy” parties become an even hotter ticket. Breitbart reps did not respond to requests for comments about their house and their social plans, but some GOP partyers are already looking ahead to inauguration weekend, when traditionally, the incoming president’s party revels all over the city.