SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Calling himself a ‘street fighter,’ former Donald Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon accused the Republican establishment of trying to “nullify the 2016 election” and told 60 Minutes he would wage war against the President’s critics within the Republican Party.
In an exclusive 60 Minutes interview, he identified Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “and, to a degree, Paul Ryan,” among those trying to prevent Trump’s “populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented.”
Bannon said he will hold them accountable if they don’t support Trump.
When asked about his relationship with Trump, Bannon said they get along because they are both street fighters.
“That’s why Donald Trump and I get along so well,” he told 60 Minutes. “I’m going to be his wing man outside for the entire time.”
Bannon said he felt Trump’s request for Congress to come up with a plan to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a mistake. He said it could cost Republicans their majority in the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections.
“I’m worried about losing the House now because of this — because of DACA,” he said. “If this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013. And to me, doing that in the springboard of primary season for 2018 is extremely unwise.”
Bannon also blasted White House aides who publicly distance themselves from the president’s response to Charlottesville — yet stick it out in the West Wing.
He singled out Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn, saying, “If you don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.”
Bannon also used the “60 Minutes” interview to criticize the Roman Catholic church, after church leaders denounced Trump’s decision to end DACA. He said bishops “need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”
Bannon, who is Catholic, said the bishops, “have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration. … This is not doctrine at all.”