What hap­pened

The Week (US) - - News 5 -

For­mer White House chief strate­gist Steve Ban­non declared war on the Repub­li­can Party and char­ac­ter­ized Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion to fire FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey as the big­gest mis­take “in mod­ern po­lit­i­cal his­tory,” dur­ing an in­cen­di­ary, wide-rang­ing in­ter­view on CBS’s 60 Min­utes this week. Ban­non, who de­parted the White House in Au­gust, ac­cused Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch Mc­Connell and House Speaker Paul Ryan of “try­ing to nul­lify the 2016 elec­tion”—blam­ing them for fail­ing to re­peal Oba­macare and warn­ing that es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans will be “held ac­count­able” if they do not do more to en­act Trump’s pop­ulist, eco­nomic-na­tion­al­ist agenda. Asked by Char­lie Rose if he would use his alt-right dig­i­tal plat­form, Bre­it­bart News, to “go to war” with the GOP, Ban­non replied: “Ab­so­lutely.”

Ban­non also shed light on the in­ner work­ings of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion—re­veal­ing that New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie “was not looked at for a Cabi­net po­si­tion” be­cause he didn’t show enough loy­alty when a leaked Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood tape dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign showed Trump boast­ing about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women. Ban­non also hinted that Trump’s son-in-law and ad­viser, Jared Kush­ner, en­cour­aged Comey’s dis­missal in May. He char­ac­ter­ized that de­ci­sion as a huge er­ror that led to the ap­point­ment of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who has since ex­panded the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion to in­clude Trump’s fi­nan­cial deal­ings and po­ten­tial ob­struc­tion of jus­tice. With­out Comey’s fir­ing, said Ban­non, “we would not have the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is go­ing for.”

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