Steve Bannon, White House chief strategist, continues pressing for President Donald Trump’s agenda, while other White House advisers are signaling their frustration with the president.
Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive chairman, gave a fourth on-the-record interview to reporters to ridicule Democrats for their obsessed mission to classify Trump as a racist.
“This past election, the Democrats used every personal attack, including charges of racism, against President Trump. He then won a landslide victory on a straightforward platform of economic nationalism,” Bannon wrote in an email to the Washington Post. “As long as the Democrats fail to understand this, they will continue to lose. But leftist elites do not value history, so why would they learn from history?”
The establishment media, whom Bannon describes as the “opposition party,” and his enemies within the White House reacted to the ongoing catastrophe in Charlottesville, Virginia, by pressing for his ouster.
In recent press availabilities, CNN has pressed specifically for Bannon’s ouster, suggesting on-air that his economic nationalist views are tied with white supremacists, racists, and neo-Nazis. Other media outlets cite multiple anonymous sources who insist that Bannon’s days at the White House are numbered.
Bannon’s enemies in the White House; National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster; Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell; and Economic Adviser Gary Cohn responded to the controversy by anonymously signaling their disappointment with Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville.
Cohn was reportedly “disgusted and deeply upset” by Trump’s response, and rumors fed speculation on Thursday that he would resign from the administration in protest. McMaster and Powell were reportedly “unhappy with Trump’s rhetoric on race over the past week,” according to an anonymous White House official, but were staying in their positions because it was “too serious and dangerous a moment” for the country.
Bannon, however, has raised his public profile in the media, going on the record to expose Democrats and their attempts to smear the president.
“The race-identity politics of the left wants to say it’s all racist,” Bannon told the New York Times on Wednesday. “Just give me more. Tear down more statues. Say the revolution is coming. I can’t get enough of it.”
In an interview with the American Prospect, Bannon adamantly dismissed the far-right racial nationalists.
“Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it,” he said. “These guys are a collection of clowns.”
Democrats and the media, he said, were focusing too much on racial divisions as part of their political playbook.
“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,” Bannon continued in his interview with the American Prospect. “I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
In response to the controversy surrounding the interview, Bannon signaled that he did not know that he was on the record during the conversation with the American Prospect reporter.
He went on the record again with the Daily Mail, saying that his interview “drew fire away” from the president and “changed the narrative.”