New York Republican Rep. Peter King has a message for President Trump: White House chief strategist Steve Bannon needs to go.
“He should go,” King told local New York station WABC Thursday. “The other day where he was saying that he hopes Democrats use race as an issue because that’s a winner for Republicans. That to me is exploiting the racial issue, that can’t be allowed.”
King was referring to an interview Bannon gave to a liberal journalist on Wednesday, where Bannon said he hopes Democrats “talk about racism every day.”
“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day,” Bannon told The American Prospect. “If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
Bannon has since claimed that he didn’t know the interview was on the record.
Bannon has been on thin ice for weeks and Trump was evasive when asked on Tuesday about Bannon’s job security.
“Well, we’ll see,” Trump said. “I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine, but Mr. Bannon came on very late–you know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that.”
Bannon’s delicate position within the White House is in part because Trump has suspected his aide of leaking internal White House drama to reporters, Axios reported last week.
Trump was also upset that a new book out credited Bannon with orchestrating Trump’s electoral victory, TheDC’s Alex Pfeiffer reported last week.