Steve Bannon is 'absolutely' going to war with GOP leaders

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan for not supporting President Donald Trump’s agenda and declared he was "absolutely" going to war with them.

McConnell and Ryan “do not want Donald Trump’s populist, nationalist economic agenda to be implemented,” Bannon told CBS’ “60 Minutes,” in an interview airing Friday. “It’s as obvious as night follows day.”

Bannon also agreed that he was “absolutely” going to war with the “Republican establishment,” whom he accused of “trying to nullify the 2016 election.”

“That’s a brutal fact we have to face,” he said.

Bannon’s sharp remarks represent an escalating intra-party battle within the GOP that has sometimes pitted Trump against the party’s most influential leaders in Congress.

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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 said he was attacking Republican leaders because “they’re not going to help you unless they’ve been put on notice they’re going to be held accountable if they don’t support the president of the United States.”

“Right now there’s no accountability,” he continued. “They do not support the president’s program, it’s an open secret on Capitol Hill, everybody in this city knows it.”

Bannon also recalled from “one of the first meetings” he participated in with McConnell and Trump, where he said the Kentucky Republican ripped the administration's “drain the swamp” motto.

“He basically says, ‘I don't want to hear any more of this drain the swamp talk,’” Bannon said, adding that McConnell told him, “I can’t hire any smart people because everybody is all over them for reporting requirements, and the pay, etcetera, you’ve got to back off that.”

In another portion of the interview, released on Thursday, Bannon accused the Catholic Church of defending DACA only because it relies on “illegal aliens to fill the churches” and said Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, had “an obligation to resign.”

The full interview will air Sunday on CBS.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus whom the Washington Post reported could be plotting with Bannon to oust Ryan as Speaker, told MSNBC Friday morning that he’d spoken with Bannon within the last 48 hours but denied he was working on a plan to see a new speaker take over.

“We’re laser focused. Not on a leadership change, but making sure that we change Washington D.C.,” Meadows said, adding that “there is no plan” to attempt to replace Ryan.

Bannon, who returned as chairman of Breitbart News after leaving the White House last month, has made no secret of his desire to battle with his political enemies.

Following his White House departure, Bannon, who’d been a central figure in a power struggle over influencing an often unpredictable president, told the Weekly Standard he had his “hands back on my weapons” and vowed “to crush the opposition.”

The feud between Trump and McConnell has also grown, since the party’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare failed. Tensions only worsened this week after Trump struck a deal with Democratic leaders over the debt ceiling, leaving his fellow Republicans reeling.

Trump appeared to take a shot at Republicans on Twitter Friday morning, blasting them again for their health care failure and urging them to "hurry" on tax reform.

"Republicans, sorry, but I've been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn't happen! Even worse, the Senate Filibuster Rule will.......never allow the Republicans to pass even great legislation. 8 Dems control - will rarely get 60 (vs. 51) votes. It is a Repub Death Wish!" he tweeted in a pair of posts.

"Republicans must start the Tax Reform/Tax Cut legislation ASAP. Don't wait until the end of September. Needed now more than ever. Hurry!" he added. 

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