“Absolutely,” replied Breitbart News’ Executive Chair Stephen Bannon when asked if he is “going to war” with the “Republican establishment,” led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
CBS’ Charlie Rose interviewed Bannon for 60 Minutes. Watch the interview below.
The “Republican establishment,” said Bannon, opposed President Donald Trump’s political agenda:
They do not want Donald Trump’s populist economic nationlist agenda to be implemented. It’s very obvious. It’s as obvious as night follows day. …
They do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everyone in this city knows it.
The swamp is 50 years in the making. Let’s talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It’s a successful business model. It’s a donor, consultant, K Street lobbyist, politician; seven of the nine wealthiest counties in America ring Washington, D.C.
Bannon elaborated on “the swamp,” describing it as a “permanent political class”:
The permanent political class, as represented by both parties. You’re not gonna drain that in eight months. You’re not gonna drain it in two terms. This is gonna take ten, fifteen, twenty years of relentlessly going after it.
“Embracing the establishment,” said Bannon, was the Trump administration’s “original sin.” “I actually agreed with the decision,” he added, noting his own involvement.
The Trump administration and Republican Party are unwise to address the Obama administration’s executive direction for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), said Bannon, recommending that such an issue be addressed later in the president’s term after other objectives are achieved.
Aliens classified by DACA should not be amnestied or offered a “pathway to citizenship,” said Bannon, “I think what we have to do is focus on American citizens.” Rose hyped DACA as a moral policy aligned with American history.
Bannon says he supports “economic nationalism,” indirectly invoking the “America First” slogan of Trump’s presidential campaign and administration:
America was built on her citizens. Look at the 19th century, what built America is called the American system, from Hamilton to Polk to Henry Clay to Lincoln to the Roosevelts; a system of protection of our manufacturing, a financial system that lends to our manufacturers, okay, and a control of our border. Economic nationalism, it’s what this country was built on. The American system, right? We go back to that. We look after our own. We look after our citizens. We look after our manufacturing base. And guess what? This country’s gonna be greater, more united, more powerful than it’s ever been. This is not astrophysics. And by the way, that’s every nationality, every race, every religion, every sexual preference. As long as you’re a citizen of our country, as long as you’re an American citizen, you’re part of this economic populist nationalist movement.
Rose derided Breitbart News as promoting the “alt-right” and “conspiracy theories” during his introductory monologue. He presents himself as a politically objective and non-partisan news media figure.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.