Bannon Breaks Silence: Slams “Far-Right Clowns”, Vows “Economic War With China”
After weeks of speculation about his future, Trump White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has broken free of his simposed exileelf-, unloading a torrent of Scaramucci-esque comments to none other than Robert Kuttner – the editor of The American Prospect, a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump’s election were “Resisting Trump” and “Containing Trump.”
Kuttner sets the surprising scene…
Trump’s embattled strategist phones me, unbidden, to opine on China, Korea, and his enemies in the administration…
Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me.
But unload Bannon did:
He began with China…
“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”
Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.
“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”