President Trump made it clear that he gets where Steve Bannon is coming from in his “war” on the Republican establishment.
“I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from,” Trump said, speaking to reporters at a Cabinet meeting Monday. “I can understand where a lot of people are coming from. I’m not happy about it and a lot of people aren’t happy about it.
The former White House chief strategist announced last week that an army was forming to challenge anyone in the GOP establishment who opposed Trump and the agenda he campaigned on.
And while the president did not openly say he endorsed Bannon’s declaration of war, he did not hesitate to lay blame where it belonged.
“I know how he feels,” Trump said. “We’re not getting the job done. And I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest. They are not getting the job done.”
Bannon encouraged conservatives at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday to keep fighting the “imperial” political class, targeting many Republican members of Congress especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Right now it’s a season of war on the GOP establishment,” he declared at the Washington, D.C, event. “The donors are not happy. They’ve all left you. We’ve cut off your oxygen, Mitch. Money’s not courageous, but money is smart.”
McConnell fired back Monday during his joint press conference with the president.
“The goal here is to win elections in November,” he said when a reporter asked for his reaction to Bannon’s remarks. “My goal is to keep a senate majority. The way you do that is not complicated. You have to nominate people who can actually win because winners make policy and losers go home. We had one skirmish in 2016. We kept the majority in the senate. So our operating approach will be to support our incumbents and in open seats to seek to nominate people who can actually win.”
Trump noted that he has “great relationships” with most GOP senators, many of whom are “really, really great people.” But in the end, he said Americans are looking for results.
“There are some Republicans, frankly, that should ashamed of themselves,” Trump said during the Cabinet meeting. “So I can understand fully how Steve Bannon feels.”
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