Steve Bannon trashes 'ethno-nationalists,' his White House enemies, and touts big plans amid calls for his firing

Steve Bannon shared some candid thoughts on a wide range of subjects in an interview with the progressive-leaning magazine, The American Prospect, published on Wednesday.

The interviews reveal Bannon's thoughts on President Donald Trump's US-China trade policy, his own views about the president's rancorous feud last week with the leader of North Korea, the deadly Charlottesville rally, white nationalist groups, and his ongoing feuds inside the Trump administration.

The White House chief strategist also pitched what American Prospect writer Robert Kuttner described as a plan to "marginalize" his adversaries in the Trump administration.

Bannon talked of Trump's plans to sign a measure that would open an investigation into intellectual property violations against American companies by Chinese firms. The law under which that measure was drafted, Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, would allow Trump to place a tariff on another country without Congressional approval.

The plans to reshape US-China trade policies do not end there, Bannon indicated. He talked of shifting people within the Trump administration to achieve expansive goals on that front.

"I'm changing out people at East Asian Defense; I'm getting hawks in," Bannon said. "I'm getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State."

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White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon speaks with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (R) and Senior Counselor Steve Bannon board Air Force One at West Palm Beach International airport in West Palm Beach, Florida U.S., February 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon (L) and senior aide Kellyanne Conway speak at meeting hosted by Trump with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
FILE PHOTO: Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon (L) sits with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (C) and senior advisor Stephen Miller during a swearing-in ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat the Islamic State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. Pictured with him are White House senior advisor Steve Bannon (L-R), National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Vice President Mike Pence, Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist for US President-elect Donald Trump, talks on the phone outside Trump Tower in New York on December 9, 2016.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (R) and senior counselor Steve Bannon (L) hold meetings at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. December 28, 2016.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon is pictured backstage during a campaign event in Eau Claire, Wisconsin U.S. November 1, 2016.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon (R) is pictured talking to a reporter after a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. October 29, 2016.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon holds a campaign rally the Reno-Sparks Convention Center November 5, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. With less than a week before Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon (C) listens to Trump speak during his final campaign rally on Election Day in the Devos Place November 8, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Trump's marathon last day of campaigning stretched past midnight and into Election Day.

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Steve Bannon gets off the plane with US President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky, for the start of the 'USA Thank You Tour' at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016.

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Steve Bannon, chief strategist for Donal Trump, leaves after the motorcade of US President-elect arrived at Trump Tower on December 10, 2016 in New York.

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Steve Bannon, (L) chief strategist for Donal Trump, exits Trump Tower on December 13, 2016 in New York.

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Steve Bannon, senior counselor to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives to attend meetings between Trump and business leaders at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. December 28, 2016.

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Bannon continued: "That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. "We’re still fighting."

Kuttner openly questioned why Bannon, a former executive of the far-right news outlet Breitbart, called him — a reporter for a progressive-leaning publication — to sound off about some of his biggest plans for the White House's economic agenda.

Here's Kuttner:

"Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me."

Bannon said later that he was unaware the conversation was on-the-record.

Working amid calls for his firing

Bannon's comments came after days of scorching fallout from Trump's response to a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president has been dragged by Republican and Democratic leaders, and abandoned by CEOs of some of the biggest American corporations after Trump wavered in his denunciations of some hate groups involved in the violence.

"Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element," Bannon said, apparently referring to demonstrators without describing any specific ethnicity, adding that "the media plays it up too much."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," Bannon said.

Some critics have pointed to Bannon, who they accused of influencing Trump's reactions to the violence in Virginia. Although Bannon spoke with Trump several times last weekend, according to the news website Axios, he "has not meaningfully advised" Trump on his response to Charlottesville, the publication said.

Bannon's immediate future in the White House has also been called into question in the aftermath of Charlottesville, with several lawmakers urging Trump to fire him. Trump saidduring a fiery news conference on Tuesday: "We'll see about Mr. Bannon."

SEE ALSO: Steve Bannon says 'there's no military solution' to US stalemate with North Korea

DON'T MISS: 'We're at economic war with China': Steve Bannon lays out China trade plans in wide-ranging interview

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