In his first television interview since being forced out of the White House, Steve Bannon declared war on the Republican Party. Bummer.
Bannon, who likened himself to a “street fighter,” told Charlie Rose that he plans to hold the GOP “accountable” for not supporting the president. Whatever that means. He also accused the party’s leadership, whom he regrets embracing in what he described as the adminstration’s “original sin,” of trying to nullify the 2016 election. (Wouldn’t that be nice.)
STEVE BANNON: The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.
CHARLIE ROSE: The Republican establishment?
STEVE BANNON: The Republican establishment is trying—
CHARLIE ROSE: Wants to nullify the 2016 election?
STEVE BANNON: Trying to nullify the 2016 election. Absolutely.
STEVE BANNON: I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented. It’s very obvious. It’s obvious as— it’s obvious as the— it’s obvious as night follows day is what they’re trying to do—
I’m not sure if it’s McConnell’s and Ryan’s disdain for Trump’s agenda is that obvious. It is quite obvious, however, that the DC political swamp Trump vowed to drain has continued to thrive during his administration. Apparently that’s McConnell’s fault as well:
STEVE BANNON: Oh, Mitch McConnell when we first met him, I mean, he was— he was— he— he said, I think in one of the first meetings— in Trump Tower with the president— as we’re wrapping up, he basically says, “I don’t wanna hear any more of this ‘Drain the Swamp’ talk.” He says, “I can’t— I can’t hire any smart people,” because everybody’s all over him for reporting requirements and— and the pay, et cetera, and the scrutiny. You know, “You gotta back off that.” The “Drain the Swamp” thing was— is Mitch McConnell was Day One did not wanna— did not wanna go there. Wanted us to back off.
CHARLIE ROSE: You are attacking on many fronts people who you need to help you to get things done.
STEVE BANNON: They’re not gonna help you unless they’re put on notice. They’re gonna be held accountable if they do not support the president of the United States. Right now there’s no accountability. They have totally— they do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.
Here’s the clip from this exchange:
Bannon, a self-described “media guy” who runs a “little website,” seems to bitter about something that I can’t quite place. Oh that’s right: Bannon’s nationalistic, insular, and racist vision for America failed to fully materialize as he hoped it would — despite the fact that Republicans control the congress.
So, I guess, the good news is that Bannon seems to be directing his energy at destroying the GOP. The bad news is, of course, that Trump is still president and Bannon’s influence over him remains strong.