Bannon on Trump maintaining support among nationalists: 'We are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him'

Steve bannonWin McNamee/Getty ImagesFormer White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist who has returned to his position leading the right-wing Breitbart News, said that he would apply external pressure on the administration to stick to its nationalist agenda.

In an interview with the Economist published on Friday, Bannon said that Breitbart, which he has called a “platform for the alt-right,” would never betray Trump, but would hold the president’s feet to the fire if he deviates from his campaign promises.

“We will never turn on him,” Bannon said. “But we are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him.”

Bannon has already followed through on this promise, with Breitbart blasting Trump’s decision this week to extend the US military presence in Afghanistan, calling the move a “flip-flop” that would not sit well with Trump’s base. Bannon said that Breitbart will support the president “the harder he pushes” on the anti-immigration, nationalist, so-called “America First” policies he campaigned on.

“I am an ideologue, that’s why I am out,” Bannon said. “I can rally the base, have his back. The harder he pushes, the more we will be there for him.”

While Bannon’s departure from the White House last week was widely viewed as a blow to his personal agenda, Bannon insisted that his influence over the direction of the country will be bolstered by his position as an outside critic and proponent of the administration.

“In the White House I had influence,” he said during the interview. “At Breitbart, I had power.”

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