Steve Bannon Goes Into Full Attack Mode on '60 Minutes'
In his 60 Minutes interview last Sunday with Charlie Rose, Steve Bannon went into full attack mode against the Republican Party establishment. Of course he hates the Democratic one as well, but it’s Republicans who are in his crosshairs.
Describing himself as “a street fighter,” Bannon claims he will be of more help to Donald Trump in carrying out his populist-nationalist agenda outside of the administration than in it. His message sounds like what he told me back in November of 2013, if less apocalyptic:
Lenin … wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.
In this interview, he told Charlie Rose:
The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That's a brutal fact we have to face.
He knew that Mitch McConnell was not on Trump’s side when he attended the first meeting between Trump and McConnell at Trump Tower after Trump becam president. McConnell told Bannon:
I don't wanna hear any more of this "Drain the Swamp" talk.
The Republicans, Bannon warned:
... were going to be held accountable if they do not support the president of the United States. Right now there's no accountability.
In my talk with Bannon, he told me that he was the East Coast coordinator of all the Tea Party groups. His plan was to get its candidates nominated on the Republican ticket, and then to back campaigns that they could win. Then, Bannon said, when elected they would be held accountable to fight for the agenda he and the Tea Party stood for. If they didn’t:
We would force them out of office and oppose them when the next election for their seats came around.
Bannon wants to use similar tactics today against the Republican leaders and congressmen and senators who do not support Trump, do not believe in his nationalist and populist agenda, and who are, according to Bannon, part of the "global elite." In the past, one of Bannon’s major targets was Paul Ryan. In the Republican primary in Wisconsin, Bannon and others stood behind a candidate they selected to run against him. They lost, but were successful in Virginia where they ousted the powerful congressman Eric Cantor. However, the victory there of David Brat, a previously unknown college professor, took place in very special circumstances. The area Cantor represented was getting fed up with him. He seemed to be running more fundraisers and dealing with national Republican problems and not representing his constituents.
Now, Politico reveals that Bannon and company are:
... planning a slate of primary challenges against Republican senators, potentially undermining the party’s prospects in 2018 and further inflaming tensions between GOP leaders and the White House.