Bannon: GOP establishment ‘trying to nullify’ election


In a CBS interview to be broadcast on Sunday, President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, reiterated that he would be waging a war against the Republicans who are trying to block the president’s agenda. Bannon left his White House job last month and immediately returned to Breitbart.

“The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face,” Bannon told CBS’s Charlie Rose.

When asked to provide names, Bannon cited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who he said publicly reject Mr. Trump’s “populist, economic, nationalist agenda.”

“It’s as obvious as night follows day,” the former chief strategist added.

When asked to elaborate on the two ‘anti-Trump’ congressmen, Bannon said that McConnell for instance was in favor of the status quo regarding the “swamp” issue in Washington.

“I don’t want to hear anymore of this ‘drain the swamp’ talk,” he quoted McConnell as saying. “He didn’t want to go there, he wanted us to back off,” Bannon explained.

Rose then pointed out to Bannon that by focusing on high-ranking Republicans he would be attacking individuals who were essential in advancing the president’s agenda. Although Bannon agreed that Mr. Trump would need their support, he also stressed that they needed to realize that their actions would be scrutinized from now on.

“They’re not going to help you unless they’re put on notice that they’re going to be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States. Right now, there’s no accountability. […] They do not support the President’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in the city knows it,” Bannon explained.

Bannon also insisted that the American voters had not walked away from Mr. Trump after the Billy Bush Access to Hollywood tape was leaked because they were not interested in locker-room conversations and would not let Mr. Trump’s language sway their vote.

“The Billy Bush Saturday to me is a litmus test. […] The Billy Bush Saturday showed me who really had Donald Trump’s back to play to his better angels. All you had to do – and what he did – was go out and continue to talk to the American people. People didn’t care,” Bannon said.

He also ridiculed the mainstream media which likened the Billy Bush story to a descent “into Dante’s Inferno.”

Bannon also stressed that officials like Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn should walk away if they did not have it in themselves to support Mr. Trump.

“[…] if you don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign,” he emphasized.

The full 60-Minutes interview will be shown on CBS on Sunday evening.