NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, made a rare public appearance Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, warning that the fight over the future of America won’t end, because the two sides are fundamentally at odds.
“If you think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon told the CPAC audience in an interview format in which he was joined by Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
“Every day it’s going to be a fight,” Bannon said.
He emphasized the president’s unwavering commitment to do for the American people what he promised.
“He’s going to continue to press his agenda. … That is what I’m proudest about Donald Trump,” Bannon said.
Bannon pointed out that every day, the president is urged to alter his priorities and back off on his commitments.
But Trump tells him, Bannon related, “I committed this to the American people, I promised this when I ran, and I’m going to deliver on this.”
Bannon referred to the establishment media as the “opposition party.”
“If you look at the opposition party and how they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and how they’re portraying the administration, it’s always wrong.
“The mainstream media better understand something – all those promises are going to be implemented,” he said.
The media opposition, he said, is rooted in their essential “corporatist, globalist” nature.
“It’s not only not going to get better. It’s going to get worse every day in the media,” he said.
“They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed, adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like President Trump has,” Bannon explained.
Bannon and Preibus, amid media reports that they are at odds, are thought to represent a divide between Trump conservatives and traditional conservatives within the White House.
But they insisted that they work well together, spending some 18 hours a day near each other, with offices in the same suite.
“If the party and the conservative movement are together, it can’t be stopped,” Priebus declared, drawing wild applause from the jam-packed ballroom.
Bannon added that the campaign was successful because of Trump. He said people within the campaign had “different beliefs about different things,” but they all came together, and Trump never doubted they would win.
“If you remember, the campaign was ‘the most chaotic,’ you know, by the media’s description, ‘most chaotic, most disorganized, most unprofessional, had no earthly idea what they were doing,'” Bannon recalled.
“And then you saw them all crying and weeping that night, on the 8th [of November].”
Priebus said Trump was able to tap into what Americans were longing for, which was someone “real” and “genuine.”
Asked to name the administration’s top priorities, Bannon cited national security and sovereignty; economic nationalism; and the deconstruction of the administrative state.
Noting the opposition, he said many of Trump’s policies, such as deregulation and peace through strength, are just like Ronald Reagan’s.
While some agenda items will take some time, he said all conservatives and Republicans should stick together and ensure they have President Trump around for eight years, not four.
Bannon said he encourages Trump every day to stick to the issues on which he won the election.
He said Trump’s vision was expressed during his appearance at CPAC several years ago.
Asked what the biggest misconception is about the new White House, Priebus said “everything” Americans are reading.
The reported bickering and infighting doesn’t exist, he said.
The discussion was moderated by Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union, who thanked the two for their work.