Steve Bannon declares war on the GOP

Steve Bannon, Trump’s ex-chief strategist, tells 60 Minutes why he’s out at the White House and criticizes the GOP for not supporting the president. “They’re gonna be held accountable,” he says

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, during his brief tenure in the West Wing and his few months as CEO of President Trump’s campaign, earned many nicknames among his admirers and his ever-expanding list of enemies. He was the “great manipulator,” “Trump’s Svengali,” “the Grim Reaper,” “Propagandist-in-chief.”

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–

CHARLIE ROSE: Give me a story that illustrates that.

“In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment.”
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.

“Let’s talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It’s a successful business model.”
CHARLIE ROSE: And so therefore, now that you’re out of the White House, you’re going to war with them?

STEVE BANNON: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: Have you cleaned the swamp?

STEVE BANNON: Well, first off– OK, the swamp is 50 years in the making. Let’s talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It’s a successful business model. It’s a donor-consultant K Street lobbyist-politician– seven of the nine biggest ca– most– wealthiest counties in America ring Washington, D.C.

CHARLIE ROSE: What are you talking about when you talk about the swamp. You’re talking about the lobbyists and the people–

STEVE BANNON: The permanent political class, as represented by both parties. You’re not gonna– you’re not gonna drain that in eight months. You’re not gonna drain it in two terms. This is gonna take 10, 15, 20 years of relentlessly going after it.

CHARLIE ROSE: So you win the election. You go through a transition. Lot of people thought might join the cabinet didn’t: Rudy, Newt, Christie.

STEVE BANNON: In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. I mean, we totally embraced the establishment. I think in President Trump’s mind, or President-elect Trump’s mind, in Jared’s mind, in the family’s mind, I actually agreed with the decision. ‘Cause ya had to staff a government. And to be brutally frank. You know, the campaign look, I’d never been on a campaign in my entire life, right? You know, I’m a former investment banker who’s a media guy, running a little website. We were– our whole campaign was a little bit the island of misfit toys. So he looks around and I’m wearing my combat jacket, I haven’t shaved, I got, you know, my hair’s down to here, and he says he’s thinking. “Hey, I’ve gotta put together a government. I’ve gotta really staff up something. I need to embrace the establishment.”

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily
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