On 60 Minutes this week Steve Bannon sat down with Charlie Rose to give his first interview since “leaving” the White House. The interview itself is on par with listening to the drunken ravings of that guy who hangs around out front your local Buffalo Wild Wings at 2 am ranting into the desolate night but it’s made more insufferable by Bannon’s smugness and the fact that Charlie Rose has to pretend like he’s not listening to psychopath’s self-delusions. We went ahead and watched the entire interview and compiled the highlights here so that you don’t have to suffer through it yourself.
-Intro, Charlie Rose is sitting on a stool (like a child) with a graphic of what appears to be Steve Bannon’s most recent album cover. On it is the bold words “Steve Bannon” and a picture of the man looking sad and contemplative like the world’s shittiest Johnny Cash impersonator.
-Charlie Rose listing off Bannon’s recent work history and uses Bannon’s self-described title of “street fighter” which somehow is both incredibly stupid and making this interview seem way more awesome than it’s actually going to be. UPDATE: By the end of the interview nobody has engaged in a physical urban battle or even played the video game Street Fighter. Sad!
-Interview begins. Bannon says “the Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election, that’s a brutal fact we have to face” which is a bold statement when you factor that Trump didn’t win a mandate and only barely won the electoral college by about 80,000 voters across three states. So the results of the 2016 election only vaguely resemble the will of the people in even the most generous sense.
-Steve Bannon lays the blame on Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. This is pretty standard for the current Breitbart talking points. Bannon says that their opposition to Trump (and by extension, himself) is as “obvious as night follows day” because Steve Bannon is basically what you get when you mix a high school theater geek with a conservative conspiracy theorist.
-Bannon says that he’s going to war with the GOP (dude is so dramatic) and that draining the swamp will take 15-20 years because something, something, rich people and politicians. Says that the “original sin” of the administration was to make the decision in the first 48 hours to “embrace the establishment”.
-Steve blames the GOP for overselling their ability to repeal and replace Obamacare (not untrue) but fails to mention how Trump and his administration derailed the process and made it vastly more difficult. Bannon deflects blame regarding how the whole “repeal and replace” thing went down and admits that total repeal is probably not an option.
At this point, they take a little break to show Charlie Rose walking around Steve Bannon’s house or some shit while a bunch of stock humans work at desks in the middle of what appears to be a dining room. The conversation now shifts to DACA.
-Bannon wants DACA “abolished” and he’s worried that the 6-month lapse that Trump gave the program for Congress to “sort it out” will bleed over into mid-terms. So he’s basically correct here and he’s right to worry but his solution is to go the most dick route possible and just end the program outright.
-Charlie Rose asks Bannon if Trump “made the wrong decision” and Bannon stumbles like a 2nd grader caught forging his parent’s signature and then punts the question.
-On DACA Bannon says there should be “no path to citizenship, no path to green card, and no amnesty, amnesty is non-negotiable” because he’s a terrible human being and his worldview is shaped by delusional conspiracies and falsehoods.
-Rose tries to suggest that immigration it an important part of American society, culture, and history (it is, he’s right). Bannon tells Rose “Charlie, this is beneath you” before launching into some pseudo-historical rant that wouldn’t pass a community college 101 course. The rant goes something like this:
- America is built on citizens (Bannon does not address that almost all US citizens are descendants of immigrants).
- “Look at the 19th century, what built America is called the “American System” from Hamilton, to Polk, to Henry Clay, to Lincoln, to the Roosevelts, a system of protection to our manufacturing, a financial system that lends to our manufacturers, and the control of our borders.” I had to just type that shit out because it’s a false representation of the American System, a false correlation to the cited figures, and just genuinely a bunch of nonsense as relates to modern economics and immigration. So, do with that whatever you fucking will.
- Bannon cites “Economic Nationalism” and says it’s what the US was built on. Again, this is historically inaccurate and a misrepresentation but whatever at this point.
- Steve throws in that this “is not astrophysics” which is hilarious because it’s also not history, economics, politics, or anything else. It’s one delusional man’s warped interpretation of American history and economics projected far beyond his own understanding. So no, it’s not astrophysics.
- Bannon caps the rant off by saying that his utopian isolationist policies include every race, nationality, religion, and sexual preference (uh oh, even the gays?!) as long as you’re a citizen.
-Rose points out that the Catholic Church has been mostly against Bannon and Trump’s policies regarding DACA. Bannon responds by suggesting that the Catholic Church is only against them because they require immigrants to fill their churches. He goes on to suggest that they have an economic interest in “unlimited illegal immigration”. We’re entering some exciting conspiracy territory now.
-“I totally respect the Pope” is our new favorite Bannon line.
-Charlie Rose asks Steve Bannon how he wants to be perceived and what he’d like his public image to be. Steve replies that he’s “a street fighter” but never defines or elaborate on what the hell that means. He then goes on to say that Donald Trump is also a “fighter” and that Bannon intends to “be his wingman on the outside for the entire time”. At this point it’s becoming obvious that Bannon harbors some unhealthy delusions of grandeur about himself. He seems to think he’s some kind of combatant serving a higher cause and not just a bloated racist pushing a childishly naive nationalist agenda.
-Bannon says there’s no room in American politics for Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, or the Klan. So, at least there’s that.
-Bannon taking shots at Gary Cohen and others in the administration that he believes leaked information to the press. He says that “if you don’t like what he’s (Trump) doing then resign”.
-Charlie Rose suggests that Bannon, Trump, and the administration don’t respect immigrants or their important legacy in US history. Bannon responds by saying that he grew up in a de-segregated neighborhood that was predominantly black which is basically like saying “I have a black friend”.
-Steve calls the Russian investigation a waste of time and a farce but will not go so far as to suggest that the Russians did not interfere in the 2016 election.
There’s a solid minute of Bannon just bumbling around about Russia and Trump. He makes no real points and mostly just stammers through vague excuses. Bannon attempts to suggest that Russia is a distraction and that we should be focusing on other “things” with no details.
-Steve goes on a rant about China and talks about how he wants to start a trade war with the United State’s largest import/export partner because he thinks they’re stealing our technology or something.
-Bannon calls George W. Bush, and his “entire national security apparatus” “idiots” for decisions made regarding China. He then lumps in everyone associated with the George W. administration, the Obama administration, and “the Clinton crowd” as well.
-During a meeting after the “grab them by the pussy” video dropped Trump apparently asked Priebus, Bannon, and others what they thought his chances of winning the election was. Bannon reportedly told Trump it was “one-hundred percent”. He then repeats that weird “locker room talk” line that the Trump campaign used to explain why Trump often discusses sexually assaulting women.
-Bannon says that Chris Christie was not looked at as a candidate for a cabinet position because of the Billy Bush video scandal and how he advised on it.
-Steve Bannon says that he doesn’t care if the media calls him a racist or anti-semite, which is good since he runs a website that promotes and propagates both.
-Charlie Rose asks Bannon why he got fired if he’s still so loyal and valuable. Bannon lies and says that he “left” (he was forced out by Kelly) because he needed to be free of being a “staffer” so he could “take the fight to who we have to take the fight to”.
-Bannon insists he opted to resign and was not forced out despite what literally everyone and everything else indicates.
-Steve says he had “the same influence on the president that he had on day 1” at the time of his resignation. This is the part where the audience bursts out laughing because no statement has ever been more false in modern history.
-Bannon defends Trump’s use of Twitter and says that he believes Trump is “very presidential”.
-Bannon suggests that General Kelly will not be able to control Trump’s use of Twitter which is probably accurate.
That’s the end of the interview and really, everything you see here is pretty much all you need to know. It’s a series of lies, blatant falsehoods, and a weird distorted view of reality and the world that shapes the crumbling ruins of Trump’s administration.