Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down President Donald Trump’s offer to be attorney general after the 2016 election, Steve Bannon told BBC News.
The comments were first reported by The Hill.
“Remember, Rudy was the guy that we first went to, to be attorney general before [Jeff] Sessions… And Rudy turned us down,” Bannon told BBC. “He says, ‘Hey it’s too much for me, I don’t want to do it, I would want to be secretary of state.'”
Giuliani, who previously said he turned down two Cabinet-level positions, recently joined Trump’s legal team.
“Rudy’s had some media hits that are better than others, right?” Bannon told the BBC.
Nonetheless, Bannon assured listeners that “Rudy…is exactly what the president needs.”
Bannon also offered his opinion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calling him “an honorable guy” while suggesting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could “be fired.”
Bannon commented on a wide-range of issues, including taking on the liberals who insist Trump is racist. Bannon dismissed that notion, saying, “Martin Luther King would be proud of him — what he’s done for the black and Hispanic community for jobs.”
Bannon also took aim at the mainstream media for conflating Trump’s populism with the “cranks” of the alt-right.
“These guys don’t exist unless you make them a big deal,” Bannon told the interviewer. “First off, they’re all cranks … [Richard] Spencer and [David] Duke — these guys are cranks. The only reason they exist is because MSNBC and BBC is down there with a camera, giving them a platform. If you cut them off, nobody would ever hear from them.”
There were also strong words for the GOP establishment, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, Bannon declared, would sometimes “rather see a Democrat in the United States Senate. He would rather have control of his caucus and not have a [defeated Republican candidate like] Roy Moore.”
Bannon, who vigorously campaigned for Moore, was asked if he hadn’t erred in his political judgment. “Absolutely not,” Bannon told the BBC.