Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called on Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to “resign immediately” on Monday evening after Corker revealed on Sunday that Bannon was right when Bannon said the Republican establishment wants to “nullify the 2016 election” in which Donald Trump won the White House by aggressively running on an economic nationalist agenda.
Corker got into a Twitter spat with Trump on Sunday, tweeting that, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
He then told the New York Times that “except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”
Appearing on Fox News’ Hannity, Bannon said that Corker “is an absolute disgrace” and should “resign immediately” and allow a real conservative like Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to be appointed if he has “any honor, any decency.” Bannon said Corker decided to not run for reelection “because he saw what happened in Alabama” and knows he would “get crushed in a primary.”
“He doesn’t have the guts to get back in the race,” Bannon added.
The Times wrote that Corker “seemed to almost find cathartic satisfaction by portraying Mr. Trump in terms that most senior Republicans use only in private” and was “all but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president.”
Corker told the Times about the “tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.” Previously, Corker has said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “help separate our country from chaos.” He has also questioned Trump’s fitness to be president.
Corker’s comments proved that Bannon was correct when he told CBS anchor Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes that the “Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election.”
“I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented,” Bannon added. “It’s very obvious.”
Bannon also told Rose that Ryan and McConnell will not help Trump implement the agenda that got him elected “unless they’re put on notice. They’re gonna be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States. Right now there’s no accountability. They do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.”
Bannon told Hannity that he is declaring war against the “establishment, globalist clique” on Capitol Hill that opposes Trump’s agenda. He added that “nobody’s safe” in 2018.
Bannon’s first battle outside of the White House against the establishment was in the Alabama GOP Senate runoff. Voters in Alabama realized that the Republican establishment lawmakers in Washington, DC were not on their side, and that is why they voted for conservative grassroots candidate Roy Moore over establishment Senator Luther Strange even though Trump had endorsed Strange. Corker, as the Washington Post reported, in fact begged Trump “to visit Alabama and campaign alongside Strange in the closing days of the runoff campaign.” But Trump reportedly “now partly blames Corker for encouraging him to get involved in a contest that has hurt his political standing,” according to the Post.
Though Trump ultimately campaigned for Strange, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s message that a vote for Moore would be a vote for the agenda that got Trump elected resonated across the state.
“A vote for Judge Moore isn’t a vote against the president,” Palin said while campaigning for Moore. “It’s a vote for the people’s agenda that elected the president.”
Bannon, who had a whiteboard with all of Trump’s campaign promises scrawled on it, is now seeking to find more economic nationalist candidates who will support Trump’s agenda instead of the GOP establishment’s.
Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan reported that “Bannon and his allies are planning a hostile takeover of the Republican Party” and only Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will get a free pass.
According to Bloomberg News, Bannon will “support only candidates who agree to two conditions: They will vote against McConnell as majority leader and they will vote to end senators’ ability to block legislation by filibustering.”
The Bloomberg report noted that “Bannon plans to support as many as 15 Republican Senate candidates in 2018, including several challengers” to incumbents who are “some of McConnell’s most reliable supporters in the Senate” like Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).
“McConnell himself won’t be up for re-election until 2020, but by targeting his supporters, Bannon might be able to force him from leadership in the Senate,” Bloomberg News pointed out.
Breitbart’s Matt Boyle wrote that “movement leaders view establishment Republicans and Democrats alike as a force blocking, slow-walking, or stonewalling the agenda that President Donald J. Trump campaigned on, and aim to elect new voices by riding a new economic nationalist electoral wave in 2018 meant to mirror and surpass what happened in previous wave elections like 2010—which saw the rise of the Tea Party.” He noted that some are referring to this “distinct slate of U.S. Senate and House candidates” as the “The League of Extraordinary Candidates”
“We’re planning on building a broad anti-establishment coalition to replace the Republican Party of old with fresh new blood and fresh new ideas,” Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance organization and ex-White House aide, told Boyle.