Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has vowed to “go to war” with President Donald Trump’s opponents in the media and on the Capitol Hill after he was fired from his job.
Bannon was fired on Friday and just hours after his ouster, Breitbart News announced that he was back as executive chairman of the ultra-conservative website. The former Trump adviser left Breitbart in 2016 to join Trump’s presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported.
Breitbart itself carried the headline: “Populist Hero” Stephen K. Bannon Returns Home to Breitbart.
After his sacking, Bannon said that he feels “jacked up” and is preparing for a fight for the agenda that won Trump the election. “I’ve got my hands back on my weapons,” he 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.”
The 63-year-old helped shape the “America First” campaign message but has been accused of voicing anti-Semitic and white supremacist views.
Inside the embattled White House, the former chief strategist frequently tangled with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and other presidential advisers over trade and foreign policy.
He is the latest high-profile figure to be removed from the White House team after the ouster of Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
According to reports, Trump was under renewed pressure to sack Bannon following the violence at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, when a car was driven into counter-protesters, killing a woman.
But Bannon told the Weekly Standard magazine that he had informed Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump on August 7 that he would announce his resignation on August 14. The tumult over the violence in Charlottesville postponed the announcement, he said.
Bannon said that he doesn’t expect Trump’s presidency will be the same now that he’s out of the White House. “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon told the Weekly Standard.
“We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else.”
He added: “In many ways I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on. And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with.”
One Breitbart headline drew a comparison between Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former California Governor, who is not viewed positively among the conservative base.
“With Steve Bannon gone, Trump risks becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger 2.0,” the Breitbart headline read.