In his first televised interview since being booted from the White House last month, ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon described President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey as one of the worst mistakes in “modern political history.”
In the 60 Minutes interview that was posted online Sunday, Charlie Rose asked Bannon if the rumors that he had described Comey’s firing as the “biggest mistake in political history” were true.
“That probably would be too bombastic, even for me,” Bannon said, “but maybe modern political history.”
Comey’s firing earlier this year ignited a political firestorm surrounding Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Shortly after Comey’s dismissal the Justice Department appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into the matter.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel,” Bannon said. “We would not have the Mueller investigation and the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going for.”
Bannon left the White House on Aug. 18 amid a spate of high profile staff changes and returned to Breitbart News, the alt-right website he headed prior to joining the Trump administration. Despite being on the outside now, Bannon said he planned to be Trump’s “wingman outside for the entire time” he is in office.
“Our purpose is to support Donald Trump,” he said. “I cannot take the fight to who we have to take the fight to when I’m an adviser to the president as a federal government employee.”
Bannon had a message for top Republicans Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell who he said were “trying to nullify the 2016 election.” He warned he was planning to aid primary challenges against GOP senators who are unsupportive of Trump’s agenda.
“They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented,” Mr. Bannon said. “It’s obvious as night follows day.”