GOP lawmaker: 'I'm not afraid of Steve Bannon'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloTrump struggles to stay on script, frustrating GOP again Bottom line Former GOP Rep. Costello launches lobbying shop MORE (R-Pa.) said that he is "not afraid of Steve Bannon," despite the former White House strategist's stated goal to back the campaigns of challengers to establishment Republicans who don't fall in line with President Trump's agenda. 

"No," Costello said, when asked by MSNBC's Chris Matthews if he was afraid of Bannon, "because I represent 705,000 constituents. I think I need to do what is best for my constituents and what's best for this country." 


Costello also said that Bannon doesn't have any influence on him.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who has disagreed with Trump on key policy issues, said, "I'm not afraid of anybody." 

Matthews continued to push Costello to say explicitly that he was not afraid of Bannon, to which he eventually said "I'm not afraid of Steve Bannon, I'm here to serve my district." 

The host then played a Fox News clip of Bannon laying out his plan to bring electoral battles to congressmen who don't fall in line with Trump's agenda. Bannon said he was "declaring war" on the establishment. 

"He probably likes that you view him as the villain," Costello said to Matthews following the clip.

Bannon, the executive chairman at Breitbart News, supported and spoke at a rally for former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore shortly before he won a special election for the state's Senate seat.