Bannon: McConnell, Corker and McCain trying to ‘destroy’ me
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon attacked top Republicans at a primary campaign rally Tuesday, accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders of "trying to destroy him every day," according to The Associated Press

Bannon also targeted Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBill Maher delivers mock eulogy for Trump Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama MORE (R-Tenn.) in his speech at a campaign fundraiser for Kelli Ward, a primary challenger to Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.), who is one of the many incumbent Republicans that Bannon is targeting in 2018.

The former strategist for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE has announced plans for a "season of war" against GOP lawmakers who do not completely support Trump's agenda and his intention to back candidates challenging every Senate Republican up for reelection in 2018, except for Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out Pat Fallon wins GOP nomination in race to succeed DNI Ratcliffe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline MORE (R-Texas). 


“It’s an open revolt and it should be. These people hold you in total contempt," Bannon said at the campaign kickoff event. "When they attack Donald Trump and Dr. Kelli Ward, it's not Donald Trump and Kelli Ward they're trying to shut up, it's you they're trying to shut up," he said. 

Early polling has shown Flake down by significant margins in popularity within his own party and against his primary challenger. Ward tenaciously called on McCain to resign his seat following his diagnosis with brain cancer this summer, garnering pushback from the senior Arizona senator's colleagues. 

Flake, a vocal opponent of Trump's populist agenda, told The Associated Press that he was not concerned with a primary defeat.

"I've had tough primaries almost every time I've run, mostly because of the position I've taken on immigration," a hardline issue for both Trump and Bannon. "People say, 'Well I can get to the right of Jeff on immigration.' But we came out all right."

Bannon previously backed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore in his primary runoff victory against Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeSessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff The biggest political upsets of the decade State 'certificate of need' laws need to go MORE, a GOP establishment figure. He has also called on Corker, who has already announced his retirement from the Senate in 2018, to step down immediately for having criticized Trump in a bout of name-calling.