Bannon: I'm going to 'light up' McConnell

Bannon: I'm going to 'light up' McConnell
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon says he's planning to ramp up pressure on political opponents while continuing to advocate a nationalist agenda.

Bannon told The Economist in an interview published Friday that he is going to "light up" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), warning that his ability to fight back has only grown since returning to the far-right website Breitbart.

"Mitch McConnell, I'm going to light him up," Bannon said, adding he was also focused on opponents such as China and "the elites in Silicon Valley and Wall Street."

“In the White House, I had influence," he said. "At Breitbart, I had power.”


The former top aide to President Trump also pushed back on news reports that the right-wing website would target his former boss.

“We will never turn on him. But we are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him," Bannon said.

Bannon argued that he was ousted from the White House because he is an "ideologue." Bannon maintains he voluntarily resigned, The Economist noted.

“I am an ideologue, that’s why I am out,” Bannon told the outlet. “I can rally the base, have his back. The harder he pushes, the more we will be there for him.”

The Breitbart chief left the White House earlier this month after reports that Trump suspected Bannon of being the source of damaging leaks to the news media. Bannon later told The Weekly Standard that he thought the Trump presidency he advocated was "over."

“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon said in August. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over."

In the same interview after his firing, Bannon hinted that he was going to war with all enemies of Trump and his own agenda.

"Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons," he said at the time.

"Someone said, ‘It’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a f---ing machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”

Bannon knocked the media in his interview with The Economist, which was conducted at his home on Capitol Hill. 

“You’re the enemy,” he said. “You support a radical idea, free trade. I mean it, that’s a radical idea.”