Bannon encouraging Blackwater founder to primary Wyoming senator: report
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Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is pushing Blackwater founder Erik Prince to challenge Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump privately calls Mattis ‘Moderate Dog’: report Push to change wildlife act sparks lobbying blitz House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill MORE (R-Wyo.) in the state's 2018 Republican senate primary, according to The New York Times.

Prince, who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosColleges, universities seeing rise in sexual assault claims, lawsuits Support for educational choice continues to grow Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE, reportedly traveled to Wyoming this weekend to find out how to establish residency in the state.

A source told the Times that Prince has told DeVos that he wants to challenge Barrasso, who serves as a senior member of GOP leadership in the Senate. 


The report comes as Bannon, who currently serves as the chairman of Breitbart News, is pushing for a number of anti-establishment figures to challenge sitting Republican senators in next year's primaries. 

Bannon has allied himself with Prince as recently as August, when Prince urged President Trump to use contractors in place of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. 

While National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump returns to UN praising Kim | Iran in crosshairs later this week | US warns Russia on missile defense in Syria Bolton: Russian missile system sale to Syria a 'significant escalation' Overnight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' MORE were opposed to the idea, Bannon was reportedly in favor. 

Prince founded the private military company Blackwater in 1997. 

The company fell under scrutiny when four of its members were convicted in 2007 of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.