Donald Trump

Former White House strategist Bannon attacks Trump aides critical of his Charlottesville remarks

Bannon slams Catholic Church stance on immigration

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 September, 2017, 8:43am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 September, 2017, 8:43am

President Donald Trump’s ex-strategist is blasting White House aides who publicly distance themselves from the president’s response to Charlottesville, yet stick it out in the West Wing.

Steve Bannon, in an interview with the CBS television network weeks after he was pushed out from the administration, singled out Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn, saying, “If you don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.”

Cohn, in a separate interview with The Financial Times, had sharply denounced Trump for saying that “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and criticised the administration’s response to the incident.

Bannon’s take: “You can tell him, ‘Hey, maybe you can do it a better way.’ But if you’re going to break, then resign. If you’re going to break with him, resign.”

Asked if Cohn should have quit, Bannon said: “Absolutely.”

Bannon, a favourite among the farther-right in the Republican Party, was jettisoned from his post in August after a turbulent seven months in the West Wing. He returned to Breitbart News, which he led before joining Trump’s campaign.

Calling himself a “street fighter,” Bannon said “that’s why Donald Trump and I get along so well. I’m going to be his wing man outside for the entire time.”

Bannon also used the “60 Minutes” interview on CBS to criticise the Roman Catholic church, after church leaders denounced Trump’s decision to end a programme that protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

US President Donald Trump fires Steve Bannon, the far-right firebrand who became his chief strategist

He said bishops “need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”

The bishops, Bannon said, “have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration. This is not doctrine at all.”

Kevin Appleby, who oversaw migration policies for the US bishops for 16 years, said their position is, in fact, rooted in “2,000 years of church teaching.”

“For them, this is ultimately a justice issue,” said Appleby, now with the Centre for Migration Studies, a think tank and advocacy organisation started by a Catholic religious order.