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Political Editors / August 17, 2017

Bannon Going, Going, Gone!

Trump’s chief strategist gives rare interview where he both disagrees with and praises his boss.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, gave a phone interview with left-leaning magazine The American Prospect. The interview started with Bannon countering Trump’s language on bringing “fire and fury” against Kim Jong Un’s regime, asserting, “There’s no military solution [to the North Korean threat], forget it.” Bannon continued, “Until someone solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here. They got us.”

But the conversation quickly pivoted to the hot-button issue of Charlottesville. Bannon commended Trump’s handling of the press, and then went further in an effort to distance himself from his own Breitbart/alt-right associations. “Ethno-nationalism,” he said, “it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much … and we gotta help crush it.” He continued, “These guys [white supremacists] are a collection of clowns.” Well, they’re some of the same folks he declared Breitbart a “platform” for when he ran the news website.

This interview was an unusual decision for Bannon, who is widely known to be quite hostile to the media and rarely grants interviews. In the first interview, Bannon believed his comments were off the record. But he should have known better than to give either interview, given the recent Scaramucci metldown.

Fortunately, Bannon chose to resign in order not to further distract Trump’s agenda.

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