Bannon Calls Firing Of FBI Chief Trump's 'Biggest Mistake'

After being ousted from the White House, Steve Bannon has been reflecting on his time there in a very public way.

President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was “the biggest mistake” in “modern political history,” according to Bannon.

The president’s former chief strategist, who has returned to his previous position as head of the conservative Breitbart News, made the assessment during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Bannon was referring to Trump’s dismissal of Comey in early May, after the bureau chief had provided testimony in the congressional investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Bannon confirmed reports that he was among the Trump advisers who did not support Comey’s firing. He claimed to be unaware how Jared Kushner, a White House aide who is also the president’s son-in-law, felt about the action. Newsmax reported that Trump initially said he had sacked Comey to bolster “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. However, the president admitted in an NBC News interview that the real reason was to quash the bureau’s investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal.

About a week after Comey lost his job, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, to head a Justice Department probe into the election-meddling charges. The special counsel’s legal team also is looking into whether Trump was attempting to obstruct justice.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired we would not have a special counsel,” Bannon said. “We would not have the Mueller investigation. We would not have the Mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going in.” The former strategist argued that getting rid of Comey did not alter the “institutional logic of the FBI and particularly in regards to an investigation.” Bannon said that if he still worked for Trump, he would advise him to resist the temptation to fire Mueller.

The Hill explained that when CBS’ Charlie Rose asked Bannon whether he had previously called Comey’s firing the “biggest mistake in political history,” the Breitbart executive replied: “That probably would be too bombastic, even for me, but maybe ‘modern political history.’”

CBS News noted that Bannon was a controversial member of the president’s inner circle. His fans and critics called him names like “the great manipulator,” “Trump’s Svengali,” “The Grim Reaper“ and the “propagandist-in-chief.” When Rose asked Bannon to describe himself, he suggested “streetfighter.”

Bannon accused “the Republican establishment” of “trying to nullify the 2016 election” because “they do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented.” Calling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, he added: “It’s obvious as night follows day is what they’re trying to do. … In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment.”

Bannon recalled that in his first conversation with McConnell, the Kentucky Republican “basically” told him: “I don’t wanna hear any more of this ‘drain the swamp’ talk. … You gotta back off that.” Trump used the phrase during his campaign as part of his populist pledge to root out corruption in the federal government.

Source: Newsmax, The Hill
Photo: YouTube

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