Bannon Says McConnell Told Trump To Tone Down ‘Drain The Swamp’ Rhetoric

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told President Donald Trump to tone down his “drain the swamp” rhetoric during one of their first meetings at Trump Tower.

According to Bannon — who was ousted from the administration in late August — the Kentucky Republican told the president his messaging was preventing him from hiring qualified people.

“Oh, Mitch McConnell when we first met him, I mean, he said — I think in one of the first meetings in Trump Tower with the President — as we’re wrapping up, he basically says, ‘I don’t want to hear any more of this ‘drain-the-swamp’ talk,'” Bannon said during an appearance on “60 Minutes” Sunday. “He says, ‘I can’t, I can’t hire any smart people because everybody’s all over him for reporting requirements and, and the pay, et cetera, and the scrutiny. You know, you gotta back off that.'”

Bannon alleged McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan aren’t supportive of the agenda Trump laid out on the campaign trail.

“They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented. It’s very obvious.” he told host Charlie Rose.

He went on to blast GOP leadership for promising to have Obamacare repealed and replaced shortly after the election, but he acknowledged lawmakers aren’t completely at fault for failing to accomplish health care reform.

“There is wide discrepancy in the Republican Party, as we know today now that we’re in it,” Bannon said. “But I will tell you, leadership didn’t know it at the time. They didn’t know it ’til the very end.”

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