Stuck in a quagmire of controversies over White House leaks and race politics, Bannon has called a far-left magazine writer to talk about China, North Korea, and his "every day" quarrels with other top White House aides.
In the interview with The American Prospect published on Wednesday, Bannon talked about the “economic war” with China and how he is feuding with National Economic Council chair Gary Cohn about how heavy-handed the Washington’s measures against Beijing should be.
"We're at economic war with China," Bannon told the liberal magazine's co-founder Robert Kuttner. "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. On Korea, they're just tapping us along. It's just a sideshow."
Bannon (pictured below) added that "the economic war with China is everything," arguing the US needs to be "maniacally focused on that."
"If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover... I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State... That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. “We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying. We gotta do this. The president’s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s like, every day.”
Bannon’s plan of attack includes a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping.
“We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us,” asserted the former chairman of Breitbart News, a website that promotes white nationalist views.
'Collection of clowns'
Despite his longtime support for white nationalists and other 'alt-right' denizens, he sought to distance himself from the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, dismissing the far right as irrelevant.
“Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.” “These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.
Under Bannon's leadership, Breitbart News became a key source for the alt-right and supporters of Trump.
A man with ties to right-wing groups drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Sunday, killing a young woman and injuring some 20 other people. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer, identified as James Alex Fields Jr, who was said to have been behind the wheel.
Trump’s failure to immediately condemn the incident as a domestic terrorist attack has drawn criticism against his administration, in which white supremacists are among the top aides of the commander in chief. The president is pointing the finger at the leftists over the incident, citing their efforts to charge the alt-right.
Bannon also talked about the 2020 election and how he thinks the Democrats will lose the race again.
He argues that Democrats' fixation on race politics instead of jobs and the economy would be their doom in 2020.
“The Democrats… the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”