President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon jokingly described a group of reporters as “the opposition party all lined up” when he walked past them outside the White House press secretary’s office on Wednesday.
According to the testimony of CNN’s Jim Acosta, The New York Times’ Julie Davis, NBC News’ Kristin Donnelly, and the Daily Mail‘s Francesca Chambers to name a few, Bannon walked past the group of reporters and made the remark.
Bannon with Priebus to reporters gathered outside Spicer's office: "the opposition party."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 15, 2017
Reince & Bannon emerged from Spicer's office just now, looked at scrum of reporters. Bannon: "The opposition party, all lined up."
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) February 15, 2017
Steve Bannon walks by a large group of reporters camping out, says to us, "The opposition party, all lined up."
— Francesca Chambers (@fran_chambers) February 15, 2017
Steve Bannon just walked past a group of press at the White House and joked the "opposition party" was all lined up
— Kristin Donnelly (@kristindonnelly) February 15, 2017
Earlier on Wednesday, Bannon told CNN’s Dylan Byers that he “could care less” about repairing the White House’s adversarial relationship with the traditional media, adding that any warming of relations was “not going to happen.”
“The opposition party is completely focused on trying to destroy Trump and his administration. It’s not going to happen,” he said.
Bannon previously described the mainstream media as the “opposition party” in an interview with The New York Times in January, adding that Trump’s victory last November should leave them “embarrassed and humiliated” due to their erroneous predictions and analysis about the election. He urged them to “keep their mouth shut and just listen for awhile” so they might learn why they got it so wrong.
“The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States,” Bannon said.
This description was then echoed by President Trump, who outlined his belief that the “media is the opposition party in many ways.”
As well as serving as Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Bannon was also appointed to the National Security Council, assuming a regular seat on the council’s principals committee alongside the country’s highest security officials.