25 Key Quotes from Steve Bannon’s 60 Minutes Interview

On Sunday, September 10, Breitbart News executive chairman and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared on CBS News’ 60 Minutes for his first television interview. The following are 25 key quotes, both from the main interview and “overtime.”

1. “The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

2. “Mitch McConnell when we first met him … he basically says, ‘ don’t want to hear any more of this “drain the swamp” talk.’”

3. “In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. … Because you had to staff a government.”

4. “The plan was to do Obamacare because, remember, Paul Ryan and these guys come in and said, ‘We’ve done this for seven years. We’ve voted on this 50 times.’ … There is wide discrepancy in the Republican Party, as we know today, now that we’re in it. But I will tell you, leadership didn’t know it at the time. They didn’t know it till the very end.”

5. “I’m worried about losing the House now because of this– of– because of DACA …  it will be a civil war inside the Republican party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013.”

6. “You couldn’t be more dead wrong [about immigration]. America was built on her citizens.”

7. “What built America’s called the American system, from Hamilton to Polk to Henry Clay to Lincoln to the Roosevelts. A system of protection of our manufacturing, financial system that lends to manufacturers, okay, and the control of our borders.”

8. “The bishops have been terrible about this. … They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration.”

9. “I’m a street fighter. And by the way, I think that’s why Donald Trump and I get along so well. Donald Trump’s a fighter. Great counter puncher.”

10. “When he’s talking about the Neo-Nazis and Neo-Confederates and the Klan, who, by the way, are absolutely awful– there’s no room in American politics for that. There’s no room in American society for that.”

11. “When you side with a man, you side with him … If you’re going to break with him, resign.”

12. “I don’t need to be lectured–by a bunch of– by a bunch of limousine liberals, okay, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons, okay, about any of this. My lived experience is that.”

13. “There’s nothing to the Russia investigation. It’s a waste of time. … I think it’s far from conclusive that the Russians had any impact on this election.”

14. “The elites in this country have got us in a situation, we’re at not economic war with China, China is at economic war with us.”

15. “The geniuses in the Bush administration … I hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt. … By the way, the Obama crowd, almost the same. Clinton crowd, almost the same. It’s three administrations.”

16. “I was the last guy to speak [about the Access Hollywood video], and I said, ‘It’s 100%. You have 100% probability of winning. … They don’t care.’”

17. “‘When you side with a man, you side with him,’ okay? The good and the bad. You can criticize him behind, but when you side with him, you have to side with him.” And that’s what Billy Bush weekend showed me.”

18. “I don’t need the affirmation of the mainstream media. I don’t care what they say. They can call me an anti-Semite. They can call me racist. They call me nativist. You can call me anything you want. Okay? As long as we’re driving this agenda for the working men and women of this country, I’m happy.”

19. “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.”

20. “I think there has been a divide in this administration from the beginning. It’s quite obvious. There’s one group of people that on the campaign, that said, ‘All you have to do is do what you said you were going to do in these major areas. Let’s punch out one thing after the other. You’re going to keep your coalition together, and we’re going to add to it over time as you’re successful.’ There’s another group that has said, ‘Let’s compromise, and let’s try to reach out to Democrats, and let’s try to work on things that we can do together.’”

21. “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.”

22. “I think what he does on Twitter is extraordinary. He disintermediates the media. He goes above their head and talks directly to the American people.”

23. “Here’s the problem of the Democratic Party. Problem with Democratic Party? There’s no Breitbart. The problem in the Democratic Party? They haven’t had a civil war. … Bernie Sanders had every opportunity. He knew about the Clinton corruption. He knew about how the Wall Street crowd has a lock on the Democratic Party. And he did not have the guts to take on Hillary Clinton in that primary. … The smart guys in the Democratic party, they understand what’s going on … They’re trying to get the identity politics out. … The only question before us: is it going to be a left-wing populism or a right-wing populism? And that is the question that will be answered in 2020.”

24. “I think he’s [at] 36% or 38% because he hasn’t — we haven’t gotten the wall built. We haven’t done — if you just go through and just do the Trump program that he laid out and just punch those things out, you’re going to be fine. … we’re going to win in ’18 and we’ll pick [up] or six or seven Senate seats. I think we’ll pick up a couple of seats in the House. And he’ll win in a huge landslide in ’20.”

25. “My suggestion and my recommendation is to solve the problem in Korea you need to solve that problem with China. … I think we have– tremendous leverage in capital markets. I think we have tremendous leverage with Chinese banks. I think we have tremendous leverage with the Chinese financial institutions.”

Bonus: “Hillary Clinton’s not very bright. Everybody says she’s so smart, so much smarter than Donald Trump. … She doesn’t really have a grasp. She doesn’t have a grasp on what’s important and what’s not. And that’s what’s essential in a leader. Donald Trump has a grasp on what’s important and what’s marginalia. … That speech of hers is an embarrassment. Breitbart, alt-right, ethno-nationalism, white supremacist. It landed flat.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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