WASHINGTON, U.S. - In his first major interview since stepping down as Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon has made a damning admission - something even the President’s closest aides have not mentioned since earlier this year.
Bannon, Trump’s former top White House adviser, and top campaign strategist has said that firing former FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history.
On Sunday, in a "60 Minutes” interview, Bannon said he would stand by Trump and fight, from the outside, against those he thinks are steering the president in a bad direction.
In the interview, Charlie Rose asked Bannon, “Someone told me you described the firing of James Comey — you’re a student of history — as the biggest mistake in political history.”
Bannon replied, “That’s probably too bombastic even for me, but maybe modern political history.”
Rose persisted, “The firing of James Comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history?”
And Bannon said, “If you’re saying that’s associated with me, then I’ll leave it at that.”
Bannon added in the interview, “I don’t think there’s any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, then we would not have a special counsel, yes. We would not have the [special counsel Robert S.] Mueller investigation. We would not have the Mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going.”
While Bannon has been a staunch supporter of Trump, he has been willing to differ with the President when he ran afoul of his nationalist ideals.
During the interview, Bannon even defended both Trump's response to recent violence in Charlottesville and his controversial hot-mic moment in the “Access Hollywood” tape.
In the interview, Bannon lashed out at the “pearl clutching mainstream media” for trying to destroy the president and also defended Trump’s use of Twitter.
Bannon railed against the Washington establishment and said the “original sin” of the Trump administration was embracing the establishment.
He said that agreeing with Republican congressional leadership’s plans to try to repeal and replace Obamacare at the outset was not right.
Bannon said, “I don’t think (Trump) needs the Washington Post, and the New York Times, and CBS News. And I don’t believe that he thinks they’re looking out what’s in his best interest, okay? He’s not going to believe that. I don’t believe that. And you don’t believe that, okay? This is just another standard in judgment that you rain upon him in the effort to destroy Donald Trump.”
He said Trump “knows he’s speaking directly to the people who put him in office when he uses Twitter. And it is sometimes not in the custom and tradition of what the opposition party deems is appropriate. You’re absolutely correct, it’s not. And he’s not going to stop.”
Commenting on Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, Bannon said Kelly is “not going to be able to control it either because it’s Donald Trump. It’s Donald Trump talking directly to the American people. And to say something else, you’re going to get some good there. And every now and again you’re going to get some less good, okay? But you’re just going to have to live with it.”