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Bannon pushing for primary challenges against GOP incumbents: report

Bannon pushing for primary challenges against GOP incumbents: report
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is leading the charge to set up primary challenges against Republican senators who have crossed the Trump administration, Politico reported Sunday.

Besides courting millions in cash flow from conservative mega-donor Robert Mercer, Bannon has also been vowing his support to challengers who could usurp the seat from GOP incumbents, according to the news outlet.

Senior GOP lawmakers fear Bannon’s rising electoral revolt will pull away resources and millions of dollars that can be used to fight their Democratic rivals.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Poll finds Dems prioritize health care, GOP picks lower taxes when it's time to vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan MORE (R-Ky.) has warned the White House about the potential primary perils that could come about because of Bannon's mission, underscoring that the party’s narrow four-seat majority could be washed away by such efforts, three people with direct knowledge of the discussions told Politico.

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Senators on Bannon’s hit list include Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerPoll: Dems lead in Indiana, West Virginia Senate races, tied in Nevada Poll:Majority of voters say health care 'very important' to them in midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns MORE (R-Nev.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference MORE (R-Ariz.), and possibly Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Defense: Trump shifts tone on Saudis | New pressure from lawmakers | Trump: 'Certainly looks' like Khashoggi dead | Pompeo gives Saudis days to wrap up investigation | Trump threatens military action on border to stop migrants Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan MORE (R-Tenn.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerSenate Republicans demand Google hand over memo advising it to hide data vulnerability Shipping companies want Congress to increase shipping truck size Ricin attacks will continue MORE (R-Miss.).

Bannon met with Heller rival Danny Tarkanian for 30 minutes on Thursday, in which Bannon vowed to fully endorse him as he runs against the Nevada senator who had refused to back Trump during last year’s campaign, according to Politico.

David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager and the head of the conservative group Citizens United, is reportedly helping scout out possible primary challenger recruits to take on Flake.

Sources who are close to Bannon say he has also floated the possibility of finding challengers for Corker and Wicker, the report says.

The Breitbart News head similarly pushed for several insurgent primary challengers to go up against incumbents in the 2014 midterms.