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 McConnellYou just can't keep good health policy down Trump threatens to veto omnibus over lack of wall funding, DACA fix Democrats desperate for a win hail spending bill 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.

Senators on Bannon’s hit list include Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerRepublican drops Senate primary challenge to Heller after Trump's urging Three states where Dems can pick up Senate seats GOP senator: Justice Kennedy is going to retire this summer MORE (R-Nev.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBernie Sanders to Trump: Firing Mueller 'an impeachable offense' Overnight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ariz.), and possibly Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump signs massive spending bill, backing away from veto threat The Hill's 12:30 Report Deficit hawks encourage Trump veto of spending bill MORE (R-Tenn.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerMiss. governor names state's first female senator to replace retiring Cochran Co-founder of WhatsApp: 'It is time. #deletefacebook' Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg 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.