Former White House chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonBennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump Youngkin dodges saying whether he wants Trump to stump for him Youngkin says supporters 'shouldn't pledge allegiance' to flag allegedly flown at Jan. 6 rally MORE on Tuesday praised Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress is hell-bent on a spooky spending spree Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' House progressives lay out priorities for spending negotiations MORE (D-Calif.) over her handling of the House’s impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE as “quite brilliant.”
“I disagree with her ideologically, but I think Nancy Pelosi is a master at political warfare. I think, strategically, what she has done from their perspective is actually quite brilliant,” Bannon said in an interview with CBS News.
Bannon, who had a falling out with Trump that led to his ouster at the White House but has continued to be a staunch defender of the president, runs a podcast called “War Room: Impeachment” with former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller and Raheem Kassam. The podcast is intended to buoy the administration amid GOP concerns over a lack of coordination in its response to the House’s inquiry.
Bannon told CBS News a “sense of urgency” among the president's allies “is not there today” and that the GOP is “not as united on messaging as the Democrats.”
However, Bannon also predicted that the impeachment could be a boon for Trump’s reelection chances, saying Wednesday’s public hearings are the start of the 2020 campaign.
“You’ve got to get maniacally focused on how you're going to make this case to the American people, and it’s going to start tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.,” Bannon said.
The former Trump aide has complimented Pelosi's strategy in the past, saying last month that her strategy is "winning."
Bannon’s comments come a day before the House is set to hold its first public hearings in its impeachment investigation. William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, are set to testify Wednesday, while former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is expected to testify Friday.
House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry in September over concerns that Trump threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid to Ukraine unless Kyiv publicly launched an inquiry into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE and 2016 election meddling. Republicans have dismissed concerns that Trump’s request was inappropriate, and the president has maintained that his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were "perfect."
However, several witnesses have testified that they were uncomfortable with Trump’s request and that they believed there was a quid pro quo surrounding the president’s dealings with Ukraine.