Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told CBS this week that Washington’s “Republican establishment,” including the top GOP leaders in both houses of Congress, “is trying to nullify the 2016 election.”
That more traditional Republicans are looking to undermine President Donald Trump, Bannon said, is as “obvious as night follows day.”
“The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face,” Bannon said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday. Bannon’s interviewer, CBS anchor Charlie Rose, responded by asking the former White House adviser to name names.
“I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented,” Bannon replied. “It’s obvious as night follows day is what they’re trying to do.”
Pressed further by Rose, Bannon recalled an early meeting between McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Trump inside the president’s Manhattan skyscraper. McConnell, Bannon recalled, told Trump that “I don’t want to hear anymore of this ‘drain the swamp’ talk,” a reference to the president’s anti-corruption catchphrase on the campaign trail. “McConnell was, Day One, did not want to go there. Wanted us to back off,” Bannon said.
At another point in his “60 Minutes” interview, Bannon explained that Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, on which he can be heard describing to co-host Billy Bush in vulgar terms how his celebrity allowed him to sexually assault women without consequence, proved to be a “litmus test” for those around the president.
Bannon recalled the early October Saturday during last year’s presidential campaign after The Washington Post first published the tape, prompting the Trump campaign to hold a meeting on what to do. The former White House strategist said Reince Priebus, Trump’s former chief of staff who was then the chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the president “you have two choices. You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.”
Click here to read more.