Bannon predicts 'three-way race' in 2020

Former Trump White House strategist Stephen Bannon is predicting that the 2020 presidential race could become a three-way contest.

Bannon said on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday night that the race could involve a three-way battle between President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE, a left-leaning senator such as Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Calif.) and a centrist candidate such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Utah Senate candidate Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran Alabama state senator introduces bill to repeal state's abortion ban Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems MORE (R).

“You’re gonna have Trump on the right, a politician — maybe a Kamala Harris or somebody on the left — and I think you’ll have a Bloomberg or a Romney or somebody in the center,” Bannon said on the HBO show.

“I think it will be a three-way race," the Trump ally added.

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Bannon also argued during his appearance that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions MORE (I-Vt.) could have forced such a contest in 2016, but said he lacked the "fearlessness" of a more nontraditional candidate like Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against the president, has in recent weeks openly mulled launching a Democratic presidential campaign to take on Trump in 2020.

The lawyer has staked out positions to the left of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE in 2016 and has called for restrictions on money in politics, an endorsement of "Medicare for all" single-payer health care and support for unions.

“If Bernie Sanders had an ounce of Avenatti’s fearlessness, he would have been the Democratic nominee and we would have had a much tougher time beating him,” Bannon said Friday.

“Bernie doesn’t have fearlessness?” host Bill Maher responded.

“Not like Avenatti,” Bannon replied. “He’s got a fearlessness and he’s a fighter. I think he’ll go through a lot of this field if he decides to stick with it.”

The firebrand attorney told CNN earlier this month that his 2020 plans get more "serious" every week, and he has recently called for a full FBI investigation of Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, with the possibility of impeachment as a "litmus test" for 2020 Democratic candidates.

"I'm very serious," Avenatti told CNN. "And I'm getting more serious by the week because I'm traveling around the country and people are encouraging me to do it."

"In light of the [Merrick] Garland seat that was stolen, together with the events of today and the hiding of docs, etc., the court must be expanded to 11 seats after 2020," he wrote in a tweet earlier this month. "The Dem nominee must commit to this or not receive the nomination IMO. There is far too much at stake."