In his first nationally televised interview, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has often been referred to as the "Grim Reaper, among other things, unleashes his wrath, not against members of the opposing Democratic party, but on the true enemies within, the "establishment Republicans," that he says is trying to "nullify the 2016 election."
The interview covered a variety of topics, including President Trump's Twitter use which he believes is unique and a way to speak directly to the people without the prism and spin by the MSM, DACA & the Catholic church, Neo-nazis, the "Russian collusion" narrative and why it is a farce, and why it was so important for Bannon himself to leave his White House position in order to fight for the American people and the President.
BANNON NAMES THE ENEMIES WITHIN
Unsurprisingly, some of the most important things that Bannon revealed are the exact points the MSM is barely covering or spinning in a manner not consistent with Bannon's actual answers.
For example, Bannon's interview was with CBS's Charlie Rose for '60 Minutes," and their headline blares "Breitbart's Bannon declares war on the GOP," but that is not what Bannon said, his answer of "absolutely" when Rose asked if he was "going to war with them" was in reference to a previous answer which named some of the enemies within the "Republican establishment," that are "trying to nullify the 2016 election."
Bannon was asked who in the Republican establishment was trying to nullify the election, he answers "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."
When asked for an example, he highlighted one of the first meetings with Mitch McConnell, where McConnell tried to demand the Trump campaign back off their talking about "draining the swamp."
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.
THE SWAMP MONSTERS
What is not heard above, but can be heard during the full video, only on the CBS News site for now, is the follow up points made by Bannon about the "Swamp" in general after Rose asked him if he "cleaned the swamp", which should be mandatory reading and/or listening to every single person that wants the swamp drained, everyone that has lamented on why the swamp hasn't already been drained, those that have criticized the slowness of the process.
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.
Steve Bannon just did what no politician has done, he actually, finally, defined the "swamp." We have heard the term drain the swamp for years, throughout election cycles, but no one has ever explained how deep the swamp really is or how many "animals" are part of the ecosystem, and for the "this should be done right now!" crowd, that might be the most critical point to understand.
Presidents cannot fire members of congress that are part of the so-called "swamp," nor the political class talking heads, nor the donors, that is up to "we the people." A president can "drain" portions within his administration, like Sally Yates' termination, or the "bloodbath" when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cleaned out the "7th floor," etc.... but it could take decades to drain the entire thing, and that is only, as Bannon makes it clear, if we "relentlessly" continue to go after it.
Key quote on why Bannon felt it was important to get out of the White House to become an "outside wing man" for President Trump:
You are a staffer. I was a federal government employee. There are certain things you can't do. I cannot take the fight to who we have to take the fight to when I'm an advisor to the president as a federal government employee. You can't do it.
The one criticism Bannon has about the president:
I think if there's one criticism or one observation is that the president in coming here, right, has still thought -- at least in the beginning of his administration -- that it's about personalities, and, "If I can change this personality," or, "If I can get this guy on my side, I can do that." And it's not what the institutional logic is. I think some of that was with the FBI and others in the State Department and how his foreign policy is playing out. But I believe you're gonna see over time he's gonna have a greater appreciation that this is a city of institutions, and you must engage them as institutions, not just as personalities.
Bannon on President Trump's Twitter use and why it is important:
OK, I don't think he needs-- the Washington Post, and the New York Times, and CBS News. And I don't believe he thinks that they're looking out what's in his best interest, OK? He's not gonna believe that, I don't believe that, and you don't believe that, OK? This is another just standard in judgment that you rain upon him in the effort to destroy Donald Trump. He knows he's speaking directly to the people who put him in office when he uses Twitter. And it sometimes is not in the custom and tradition of what the opposition party deems is appropriate. You're-- you're absolutely correct, it's not. And he's not gonna stop. And by the way, General Kelly, I have the most tremendous respect for and has put in very tight processes. He's not gonna be able to control it either because it's Donald Trump. It's Donald Trump talking directly to the American people. And to say something else, you're gonna get some good there. And every now and again you're gonna get some less good, OK? But you're just gonna have to live with it.
In the clip shown below, before the actual interview aired, we see Steve Bannon address the Access Hollywood tape that was released during the election, and how at a meeting, everyone was convinced Trump should drop out of the running, but that Bannon was only person in the room that told him he had "100% probability of winning the election." He explains why that time was a "litmus test" because if you are behind someone, you stay behind them through the good and the bad.
The importance here is he made it clear he took out his "little black book" and started taking names..... no doubt those names he took down during the campaign and during his time in the White House, are the people he is indeed "going to war" with over the next few years on President Trump's behalf.
The last clip shows Bannon shut Charlie Rose right down as he suggests that Bannon doesn't appreciate diversity or civil rights in the eyes on Bannon's critics, where Bannon states "I was raised in a desegregated neighborhood. It-- it-- the north side of Richmond is predominantly black, OK? I went to-- I went to an integrated school, a Catholic school. I served in the military. I don't need to be-- I don't need to be lectured by a bunch of-- by a bunch of limousine liberals, OK, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons, OK, about any of this. My lived experience is that."
Steve Bannon doesn't respond to each and every bit of media specualtion and gossip about him, his relations with the President, why he left the White House, who and what he is, but this interview, the very first televised interview with Bannon since he resigned as chief strategist, is his reponse to it all.
The man that has been dubbed the "grim reaper," is taking out his little black book, waging a media war on the enemies within the Republican establishment, and he has just put them all on notice that his figurative "scythe" is aimed right for their head.