Steve Bannon, former White House adviser and the populist chief of Breitbart News, predicts that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will lose his position as the head of Senate Republicans by November of 2018.
In an interview with the New York Times released Friday, Bannon told reporter Jeremy Peters “I absolutely do not think [McConnell] will be majority leader” by November next year, and he will work to make that happen.
“I have an objective that Mitch McConnell will not be majority leader, and I believe will be done before this time next year,” Bannon said.
Bannon predicts that establishment Republicans will continue losing favor, and politicians, particularly in the Senate, will be forced to choose sides. The retirement of Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, plus the routing of McConnell-backed interim Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama, indicates to Bannon that the movement is still strong.
“And we had, you know, Big Luther in Alabama. We had Corker in Tennessee, and we had Flake in Arizona, and there’ll be more,” Bannon said. “There’ll be more. Don’t think that you know — not one of these senators has run out there and said publicly and said, ‘I want the endorsement of Mitch McConnell.’ Yet they’re all coming to us.”
The Alabama Republican senate primary between Strange and Judge Roy Moore, now the Republican nominee, proved the power of the populist movement that Bannon speaks for. “And remember, it’s just not me,” Bannon said, downplaying his role. “It’s played up in the media as. It’s really about 25 of these grass-roots organizations that really haven’t had a voice. You saw them come together in the Judge Moore primary in Alabama, but it’s about 25, all grass-roots, all representing the hobbits. Right?”
Moore’s chances in Alabama are being questioned by Republicans after allegations that he had inappropriate relationships with multiple underage women in the late 1970s and ’80s. Moore denied the allegations, and the Republican state auditor for Alabama called them “much ado about nothing.”
The rise of Donald Trump to the presidency was a huge win for the populist movement Bannon calls economic nationalism, so much so that Bannon believes Nov. 8 will become a holiday for the movement for years to come.
“We celebrated today [Nov. 8] in the Trump movement as MAGA Day. Right? A high holy day,” Bannon said. “It’s MAGA Day. And we’ll celebrate it like Bastille Day going forward.”
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