Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told the New York Times that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his allies have been “the most outrageous” in their failure to support President Trump — adding that McConnell “has to go.”
Bannon was reacting to Republican Ed Gillespie’s defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Gillespie, a former Bush aide and RNC chairman, had embraced Trump’s populist agenda late, and it had not been enough to salvage a victory.
Bannon noted that “You’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some,” but that pushing Trump’s agenda is a process, and that leads to McConnell.
“So the process now goes: why is Mitch McConnell? Because the Senate and Mitch McConnell have been the most outrageous in their lack of support of President Trump’s agenda,” Bannon told the Times’ Jeremy Peters.
Bannon has eyed running challengers to a number of sitting Republican senators, calling for them to be replaced by authentic candidates who support Trump’s “America First” agenda.
“The greatest offense is not supporting the president enough as of now,” Bannon said. “I think [McConnell] showed his contempt for the grassroots movement, I think he showed his contempt for the Trump movement in those actions, so yes, Mitch McConnell has to go.”
Asked about McConnell’s future, Bannon said: “I absolutely do not think he will be majority leader” this time next year.
Later, when asked about whether it was his personal mission to run McConnell out of the Senate leadership, Bannon confirmed that it was indeed one of his objectives for 2018.
“It’s not my personal mission but I have an objective that Mitch McConnell will not be majority leader and I believe it will be done before this time next year,” he said.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.