Bannon pushing for primary challenges against GOP incumbents: report

Bannon pushing for primary challenges against GOP incumbents: report
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is leading the charge to set up primary challenges against Republican senators who have crossed the Trump administration, Politico reported Sunday.

Besides courting millions in cash flow from conservative mega-donor Robert Mercer, Bannon has also been vowing his support to challengers who could usurp the seat from GOP incumbents, according to the news outlet.

Senior GOP lawmakers fear Bannon’s rising electoral revolt will pull away resources and millions of dollars that can be used to fight their Democratic rivals.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' MORE (R-Ky.) has warned the White House about the potential primary perils that could come about because of Bannon's mission, underscoring that the party’s narrow four-seat majority could be washed away by such efforts, three people with direct knowledge of the discussions told Politico.

ADVERTISEMENT
Senators on Bannon’s hit list include Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerJacky Rosen hits Dean Heller over health care in first negative ad GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Nev.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on tariffs | Fed chief lays out stakes of Trump trade war | Consumer prices rise at highest rate in six years | Feds to appeal AT&T merger ruling MORE (R-Ariz.), and possibly Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report McConnell: We may 'be in the early stages' of a trade war MORE (R-Tenn.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers eye ban on Chinese surveillance cameras | DOJ walks back link between fraud case, OPM breach | GOP senators question Google on Gmail data | FCC under pressure to delay Sinclair merger review Top Senate Republicans question Google over Gmail data practices MORE (R-Miss.).

Bannon met with Heller rival Danny Tarkanian for 30 minutes on Thursday, in which Bannon vowed to fully endorse him as he runs against the Nevada senator who had refused to back Trump during last year’s campaign, according to Politico.

David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager and the head of the conservative group Citizens United, is reportedly helping scout out possible primary challenger recruits to take on Flake.

Sources who are close to Bannon say he has also floated the possibility of finding challengers for Corker and Wicker, the report says.

The Breitbart News head similarly pushed for several insurgent primary challengers to go up against incumbents in the 2014 midterms.