Donald Trump on Steve Bannon: Will ‘See if We Talk Him Outta’ Primarying Some ‘Great’ Republicans in 2018

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump held a very short notice press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during which Trump said that he may try and talk former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon out of recruiting 2018 primary challengers to some congressional Republicans.

One reporter asked Trump, “Do you support the plan by people who previously served in your administration, such as Steve Bannon, to primary Republican candidates in the 2018 elections who do not support your agenda?”

Trump responded:

Well I have a very good relationship, as you know, with Steve Bannon. Steve’s been a friend of mine for a long time. I like Steve a lot. Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing. Some of the people that he may be looking at I’m gonna see if we talk him outta that cause frankly they’re great people. What Mitch will tell you is that maybe, with the exception of a few, and that is a very small few, I have a fantastic relationship with the people in the Senate and with the people in congress, I mean I have a, with our House of Representatives. I have a great relationship with political people. If you read the papers you think I’m like on one island and they’re like on the other, well it’s not the way it is. We have a fantastic relationship. I’m friends with most of them. I can say, and I don’t think anybody can have much of a higher percentage, but I’m friends with most of them. I like and respect most of them and I think they like and respect me. Just so you understand, the Republican Party is very, very unified. When we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no Democrat support. We have nobody. We don’t have a vote from the Democrats. As an example — massive tax cuts, we may not get any Democrat votes, now we also may get 3 or 4, but we may get no Demo- for massive tax cuts. We’re the highest taxed country in the world and yet we may get no Democrat support. And that’s because they’re obstructionists and they just basically want us to do badly, but that’s not going to happen.

Earlier the same day, President Trump had told reporters that he understood Bannon’s war with Republicans, acknowledging that the Senate has failed to advance the Trump administration agenda, especially on repeal of Obamacare. “I’m not going to blame myself to be honest; they aren’t getting the job done,” said Trump.

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