Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon gave a positive view of the state of the populist economic nationalist movement in an interview published Tuesday, saying the movement is going well but is just getting started.
“I think we’ve had a pretty good run so far, and it’s just the top of the first inning,” Bannon told Good Luck America’s Peter Hamby in an interview available exclusively on Snapchat.
Bannon has been recruiting candidates to run against establishment Republicans in Senate primaries in 2018, causing panic among GOP leadership. He said it was not about a war within the Republican Party, but about a war with the permanent political class.
“This kind of populist nationalist right has been having this fight with the establishment,” Bannon said. “Trump was a rejection of the entire establishment. The permanent political class has a business model, and they’re not prepared to give up power.”
Bannon also noted that the establishment Republicans have frequently not had President Trump’s back and that it is up to the populist right to support Trump in that agenda and make sure it is implemented on Capitol Hill. He also said he believes Trump is paying more attention to the movement in the wake of Judge Roy Moore’s defeat of Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in the Alabama Republican Senate primary.
I think he understood after the primary in Alabama that his base believes in a handful of things: They want to build the wall. They want to stop illegal immigration. They still want to get us out of these, what they consider these pointless foreign wars. And I think it’s incumbent on the “deplorables” to be out there.
Asked about whether the populist movement, by going after Republicans, could actually be helping Democrats, Bannon dismissed those concerns.
“I think this whole thing is evolving,” he said. “You have this populist economic nationalism, and it’s just starting to catch on, and I think people who embrace the Trump agenda are going to win primaries and be the best candidates against Democrats.”
On the question of whether his influence had been reduced since leaving the White House, Bannon said he has more influence now than he did when he was serving as a staffer in the West Wing.
“When you’re in the White House, you know, you’re just another staffer, and I had a lot of influence,” he said. “But there’s a difference between influence and power, [and] when I’m out with Breitbart and have all my weapons, I can really effect change much more and help the president.”
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.