Steve Bannon on ’60 Minutes’: “Establishment Trying To Nullify The 2016 Election”

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said on his 60 Minutes interview Sunday night that the Republican establishment is “trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

Speaking with interviewer Charlie Rose last Wednesday during a session recorded at Bannon’s home in Washington, which also is the headquarters of Breitbart News, the occasion marked Bannon’s first TV interview since leaving the White House. He returned to his job as the head of Breitbart News.

Bannon came out swinging against a number of foes, including Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, illegal immigrants, the Catholic church, and more. This, despite the Trump administration’s decision to “embrace the establishment” some 48 hours after it won the election. “You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment.”

Among the many topics addressed during the interview:

The “Swamp” – “You’re not gonna drain that in eight months. You’re not gonna drain it in two terms. This is gonna take 10, 15, 20 years of relentlessly going after it.”

Obamacare:  “The very first meetings we had with the Republican establishment, here was the plan that was laid out. The plan was to do Obamacare because, remember, Paul Ryan and these guys come in and said, “We’ve done this for seven years. We’ve voted on this 50 times.. That’s what we’re gonna start with Day One, and we will have something on your desk by Easter. ” He later added: “I think their choice is gonna be you’re not gonna be able to totally repeal it.”

DACA:  “I’m worried about losing the House now because of this– of– because of DACA. And my fear is that with this six months down range…if this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013.”

Charlottesville:  “I was the only guy that came out and tried to defend him. I was the only guy that said, “He’s talking about something, taking it up to a higher level….What he was trying to say is that people that support the monument staying there peacefully and people that oppose that, that’s the normal course of First Amendment.”

Russia:  ‘There’s nothing to the Russia investigation. It’s a waste of time. It’s a total and complete farce. Russian collusion is a farce…He criticizes the Russians all the time. He knows the Russians are not good guys. We should be focused on how we bring the Cold War to an end…

China:  “Donald Trump, for 30 years, has singled out China as the biggest single problem we have on the world stage. The elites in this country have got us in a situation, we’re at not economic war with China, China is at economic war with us…. I want China to stop appropriating our technology. China is, through forced technology transfer and through stealing our technology, but really forced technology transfer, is cutting out the beating heart of American innovation.”

The Billy Bush Tape: “…but that’s just locker room talk.”

Bannon’s image in the media: “I don’t need the affirmation of the mainstream media. I don’t care what they say. They can call me an anti-Semite. They can call me racist. They call me nativist. You can call me anything you want. OK? As long as we’re driving this agenda for the working men and women of this country, I’m happy.”

Why he left the White House: “I went to General Kelly on August 7th  saying, “My one-year anniversary’s coming up.” And in fact, when I went to him on the 7th and said, “Hey, I am– I’m gonna put in my letter of resignation, and I’m gonna be outta here on the 14th. It’ll be one year to the date.”

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