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Key Trump Aide Bannon Goes to War With the Republican Party

Steve Bannon, the Breitbart head and Trump whisperer who recently left the White House, has made war with Republicans his priority for 2017 and 2018.

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon is going to war with the Republican Party.

That’s the major takeaway from his eyebrow-raising interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and a Politico write-up from Sunday evening on his new, or renewed, efforts to challenge GOP incumbents in U.S. Senate races this year and next.

Bannon’s interview earned a lot of attention, especially since the Breitbart chief rarely speaks in public.

As The Washington Post (and many others) noted:

Bannon, in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) of “trying to nullify the 2016 election.”

…He blamed them for failing to repeal and replace former president Barack Obama’s signature health-care law and made clear that he would use his Breitbart perch to hold Republicans accountable for not helping Trump push through his agenda.

Accompanying the coverage of Bannon’s wide-ranging interview (in which he also called Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey one of the worst mistakes in “modern political history“) was a new Politico story on Bannon’s anti-Republican efforts.

Bannon and Breitbart, it seems, will target four incumbent GOP senators up for re-election next year:

  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  • Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) … if he doesn’t retire first
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

It appears Bannon considers all of these senators insufficiently pro-Trump. The report suggests Bannon and Breitbart will put their weight behind primary challengers.

As Politico noted, Bannon doesn’t have the best track record so far:

During the 2014 midterms, Breitbart, under Bannon’s leadership, promoted several insurgent challengers, including physician Milton Wolf in Kansas and former state Rep. Joe Carr in Tennessee. None of the Breitbart-backed candidates won, but the effort sapped the party leadership of millions of dollars.

After having earned a key spot in the White House, the nation will see if Bannon and his media outlet have any more weight in the upcoming cycle.