While Breitbart has warned of war 'against' Trump – should he break from the policies upon which he was elected – former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has spoken for the first time since being fired today.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Bannon said he was "going to war" for Trump…
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up.
I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents… on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,”
So, war it is!
Presumably, being outside The White House allows him more freedom to pursue his tactics. The question is – given the narrative being spun is he resigned by mutual agreement – does Bannon stil have Trump's ear? And if so, will Cohn, Kelly, and Kushner stand for it? We already know his agenda is anything but in line with theirs.
Notably The White House formally launched a probe of China's intellectual property practices tonight – invoking Section 301 just as Bannon had said.
With regard his internal adversaries, at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing’s aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don’t want to mess with the trading system, Bannon was ever harsher…
“Oh, they’re wetting themselves,” he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.
“That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. “We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying.”
“We gotta do this. The president’s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s like, every day.”
Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant:
“Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”
“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.
And finally, Bannon scoffed at The Democrats…
“…the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
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Kurt Bardella, a Republican communications specialist who worked for Bannon at Breitbart but later denounced him, predicts the strategist would "feel liberated" by his departure.
"Now, he will be able to operate openly and freely to inflict as much damage as he possibly can on the ‘globalists’ that remain in the Trump Administration."