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 McConnellDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Republican lawyers brush off Trump's election comments 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 McCainCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat Analysis: Biden victory, Democratic sweep would bring biggest boost to economy The Memo: Trump's strengths complicate election picture MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHas Congress captured Russia policy? Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) in his speech at a campaign fundraiser for Kelli Ward, a primary challenger to Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHow fast population growth made Arizona a swing state Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden MORE (R-Ariz.), who is one of the many incumbent Republicans that Bannon is targeting in 2018.

The former strategist for President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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 CruzCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' MORE (R-Texas). 

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.