Steve Bannon's War On The Republican Party Will Go On With Or Without Trump's Blessing

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is a man of his word, according to allies who said the Breitbart chairman is more determined than ever to wage war on incumbent Republicans in 2018 even without President Trump's endorsement.

Hours after Trump decried inaction by congressional Republicans at a Cabinet meeting Monday, during which he seemed to offer a tepid endorsement of Bannon's plan to prop up insurgent GOP candidates, the president emerged from talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with concerns about an interparty battle.

"I'm going to see if we can talk him out of that," Trump said of Bannon, signaling that there are some Senate Republicans the Breitbart chairman wishes to challenge that the White House may stand by next fall.

Many Republicans are still wondering why the nationalist firebrand wants to challenge GOP senators like John Barrasso of Wyoming or Roger Wicker of Mississippi, both of whom voted with the president more than 95 percent of the time – more than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (93.9 percent), who Bannon has said he will not target. 

"I don't understand why, if his goal is to help Donald Trump, why he isn't strictly looking to unseat Democratic senators," said veteran GOP strategist Ford O'Connell. "This basically sends a message that there is no amount of loyalty to Trump that is sufficient to placate Bannon world."

"Trump's problem isn't insufficient loyalty; it's that he needs more senators outside of the 60-vote threshold," O'Connell continued, noting that "the folks who held up the Obamacare repeal aren't up [for reelection] in 2018."

Read more from Gabby Morrongiello at the Washington Examiner

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