Peter King: Trump Should Fire Bannon

August 17, 2017

Republican Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) said Thursday that President Donald Trump should fire his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, over remarks he made in his interview with The American Prospect published the prior day.

"I think it's important for the president to fire Steve Bannon," King said in an interview with ABC's New York affiliate. "He should go."

Bannon called a writer, unprompted, at the liberal magazine and expounded on several topics, one of which included his hope that Democrats "talk about racism every day" to the benefit of the GOP.

"The Democrats," he said, "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."

King said that was exploitive.

"What he said the other day where he was saying that he hopes the Democrats use race as an issue because that's a winner for Republicans, that to me is exploiting the racial issue. That can't be allowed," King said.

Bannon also undercut Trump on his recent rhetoric toward North Korea about bringing "fire and fury" if Kim Jong Un continued to make threats. Instead, Bannon said there was no "military solution" to North Korea's nuclear threat.

"Also, the fact that he is undercutting the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and the head of the National Security Council on North Korea; to me, his time in the White House should be over," King said.

Trump would not expressly say Tuesday if he had confidence in Bannon, who he has reportedly suspected to be behind leaks meant to undermine National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.