Politics

Bannon Dismisses White Supremacists As ‘Collection Of Clowns”

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White House chief strategist Steve Bannon dismissed white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups as a “collection of clowns,” and said he’s happy to let Democrats focus on race, in an impromptu interview with The American Prospect Wednesday.

“Ethno-nationalism — it’s losers,” Bannon told The Prospect’s Robert Kuttner, differentiating nationalism along racial lines from his own preferred ideology of “economic nationalism.”

“It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

Bannon said that he’s glad the political left focus on racial politics, as it allows his push for a stronger economic hegemony moving forward.

“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,” Bannon said. “I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

Self-described neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups clashed with counter protestors in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday during a violent rally. One woman died and 19 were injured when alt-right protestor James Fields Jr. allegedly attacked a group of people with his car.

President Donald Trump received criticism from both Republican and Democratic politicians for placing blame for the violence on both the neo-Nazi groups and the counter protestors, which included antifa and proto-communist groups. (RELATED: Trump Claims There Were People At White Nationalist Rally Who Just Wanted To Save A Statue)

Bannon, who has faced rumors in the press in recent weeks that he may be out of favor with the president, reached out to The Prospect, a progressive publication, to discuss America’s relationship with China, The Prospect said.

The big struggle, Bannon claimed, is the battle with China for global economic dominance.

“We’re at economic war with China,” Bannon said. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”

In a 2014 panel discussion at the Vatican on European politics republished by BuzzFeed earlier this year, Bannon dismissed attempts to discredit the nationalist movements in Europe and the the rise of the tea party in America as racist because people people understand the movements.

“When you hear charges of racism against the tea party, it doesn’t stick with the American people, because they really understand,” Bannon said.

“I think when you look at any kind of revolution — and this is a revolution — you always have some groups that are disparate,” Bannon said. “I think that will all burn away over time and you’ll see more of a mainstream center-right populist movement.”

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