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 defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Dems' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump 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 DeVosAmerican Federation of Teachers sues DeVos over repeal of for-profit regulations Pressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison DeVos compares pro-choice to being pro-slavery 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 MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book 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.