In his first television interview since leaving the White House, President Donald Trump‘s former chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, where he asserted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is “not very bright.”
“Everybody says she’s so smart, so much smarter than Donald Trump,” Bannon said of Trump’s 2016 presidential rival. “She doesn’t really have a grasp. She doesn’t have a grasp on what’s important and what’s not. And that’s what’s essential in a leader.”
“Donald Trump has a grasp on what’s important and what’s marginalia,” Bannon, 63, added.
For example, Bannon pointed to Clinton’s campaign-season criticism of Breitbart News, the far-right news website Bannon co-founded and once described as a platform for the so-called “alt-right.” Bannon, who returned to the website as its executive chairman after he was fired by Trump last month, said Clinton’s charge that the website supported white supremacists “landed flat” because it was “morally wrong” and “totally irrelevant.”
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Bannon also faulted Clinton for what he said was her failure to understand the importance of the “populist economic nationalist movement.”
“Economic nationalism is what this country was built on. The American system, right? We go back to that. We look after our own. We look after our citizens. We look after our manufacturing bases and guess what? This country’s gonna be greater, more united, more powerful than it’s ever been,” Bannon said.
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“And this is not astrophysics. And by the way that’s every nationality, every race, every religion, every sexual preference. As long as you’re a citizen of our country, as long as you’re an American citizen, you’re a part of this populist economic nationalist movement. And by the way, that’s 65-70 percent of the country,” he continued.
Bannon added that “the smart guys in the Democratic party” do understand this.
“Sherrod Brown gets this. Tim Ryan gets this … the guys around [Chuck] Schumer get this. They understand this. They’re trying to get the identity politics out. They’re trying to run,” Bannon said.
“The only question before us: Is it going to be a left-wing populism or a right-wing populism?” he added. “And that is the question that will be answered in 2020.”
Bannon’s comments faced some backlash on Twitter, where former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer called the Breitbart head “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.”