Former White House Chief Strategist Steven Bannon, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that Washington’s “Republican establishment” including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are trying to undermine President Trump and “nullify” his presidency.
“I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented,” Bannon told CBS anchor Charlie Rose. “It’s obvious as night follows day is what they’re trying to do.”
When Bannon was pressed further he spoke about an early meeting between McConnell, Ryan and Trump inside his Manhattan skyscraper. Bannon recalled that McConnell said “I don’t want to hear anymore of this ‘drain the swamp talk’” and that “McConnell was, Day One, did not want to go there. Wanted us to back off.”
Rose asked Bannon many questions about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump and Billy Bush, which according to Bannon, proved to be a “litmus test” for those vying for a spot on the President’s cabinet.
Reince Priebus, former chief of staff for Trump, told the president after the tape was released that “you have two choices. You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.”
While Priebus was able to obtain a position at the White House, Gov. Chris Christie was not as lucky. The Governor offered a similar grim look at Trump’s chances which in turn cost him a cabinet position, said Bannon.
“You know, I’m Irish. I gotta get my black book and I got ’em,” Bannon said. “Christie, because of Billy Bush weekend was not looked at for a Cabinet position.”
Bannon, however, stood by the President and told him he has a “100 percent probability of winning.” Trump was skeptical of this perception, but as it turned out, Bannon was allowed to stay on for the White House.
“’And on that day, that’s the first time and only time he ever got upset with me. He goes, ‘Come on, it’s not 100 percent.’ I go, ‘It’s absolutely 100 percent.’ And I told him why: They don’t care,’ said Bannon.”