Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said Monday night that professional football players who want to take a knee during the national anthem should instead do so at night and "thank God" that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE is commander in chief.

“If people in this country take a knee and the national football players want to take a knee, they should take a knee at night, every night, and thank God in heaven Donald J. Trump is president of the United States,” Bannon told Fox News.


“He has saved this country so much grief. He has done such a tremendous job with virtually no help."

Bannon’s remarks come amid fallout from Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire players who choose to kneel during the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,' " Trump said Friday at a rally in Alabama.

Trump doubled down on those comments over the weekend, sparking protests at football games across the country on Sunday and widespread condemnation from athletes.

Bannon on Monday also called on the "Republican establishment” to have Trump’s back.

Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Poll finds Dems prioritize health care, GOP picks lower taxes when it's time to vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan MORE wouldn’t be majority leader if Donald Trump didn’t drag half a dozen senators across the goal line in November,” Bannon said.