UPDATED with video: Republican establishment is trying to nullify President Donald Trump’s election, ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon tells Charlie Rose in an excerpt of his 60 Minute interview that played tonight on CBS Evening News. Watch the video below.
“That’s a brutal fact we have to face,” Bannon asserted, incorrectly.
“The Republican establishment?” Rose asked, playing along. “Wants to nullify the 2016 election?” he added, as if not believing what he was hearing.
“Absolutely,” Bannon said. “Absolutely” is to Bannon what “very” is to Donald Trump – among the things we’ve learned about Bannon in these clips CBS News has been rolling out in dribs and drabs in advance of the full interview on Sunday.
Rose asked Bannon to name names.
“I think Mitch McConnell and, to a degree, Paul Ryan,” Bannon said. “They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented. It’s very obvious. It’s obvious as night follows day, it’s what they’re trying to do.”
Rose asked for an example.
Bannon said that, at Trump’s first post-election Trump Tower meeting with McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader said, “I don’t want to hear any more of this ‘drain the swamp’ talk.”
“Flat-out, he goes, ‘A guy up on Capitol Hill can’t buy a Coke unless it’s got to be reported.’ He says, ‘I can’t — I can’t hire any smart people,’ because everybody’s all over them for reporting requirements and — and the pay, et cetera, and the scrutiny. You know, ‘You got to back off that.’
“Mitch McConnell did not want to go there. Wanted us to back off,” Bannon added.
Rose pointed out Bannon was attacking the people Trump needed to get things done.
“They’re not going to help you unless they’re put on notice,” Bannon shot back.
“They’re going to 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 no longer has a seat in the White House, Rose observed, saying, “So therefore, now that you’re out of the White House, you’re going to war with them?”
“Absolutely,” said Bannon.