Bannon: McConnell told Trump to back off "Drain the Swamp" talk

Steve Bannon tells 60 Minutes that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Trump to back off his "Drain the Swamp" talk -- and says the GOP establishment is "trying to nullify" Trump's win

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Former Trump Administration Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon says the Republican establishment, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, is trying to nullify the 2016 election. In his first TV interview since leaving his job at the White House, Bannon tells Charlie Rose he is at war with the Republicans who he says do not want to implement "Donald Trump's populist, economic nationalist agenda." The interview will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

"The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That's a brutal fact we have to face."  

An excerpt of the interview was broadcast on the CBS Evening News:

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon speaks to Charlie Rose on "60 Minutes." CBS News

STEVE BANNON: The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That's a brutal fact we have to face.

CHARLIE ROSE: The Republican establishment?

STEVE BANNON: The Republican establishment--

CHARLIE ROSE: Wants to nullify the 2016 election?

STEVE BANNON: Trying to nullify the 2016 election. Absolutely.


STEVE BANNON: I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump's populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented. It's very obvious. It's obvious as-- it's obvious as the-- it's obvious as night follows day.

CHARLIE ROSE: Give me a story that illustrates that.

STEVE BANNON:  Oh, Mitch McConnell when we first met him, I mean, he was-- he was-- he-- 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 wanna hear any more of this 'drain the swamp' talk." He-- c-- flat out. He goes, "A guy up on Capitol Hill can't buy a Coke unless it's gotta be reported." He says, "I can't-- I can't hire any smart people," because everybody's all over him for reporting requirements  and the pay, et cetera, and the scrutiny. You know, "You gotta back off that." The "Drain the Swamp" thing was-- is Mitch McConnell was day one did not wanna-- did not wanna go there. Wanted us to back off. 

CHARLIE ROSE: You are attacking on many fronts people who you need to help you to get things done.

STEVE BANNON: They're not gonna help you unless they're put on notice. They're gonna be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States. Right now there's no accountability. They have totally-- they do not support the president's program. It's an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.

CHARLIE ROSE: And so therefore, now that you're out of the White House, you're going to war with them?

STEVE BANNON:  Absolutely.