MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Thursday that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was acting like "President Bannon" again after his interview with a left-wing publication went public.
Bannon gave an interview published Wednesday in the American Prospect, which aides said he thought was off the record, where he mocked Trump administration officials for their reticence on changing trade policy and refuted President Donald Trump's language about a possible military solution to nuclear North Korea.
MSNBC guest Katty Kay wondered on "Morning Joe" how Bannon could survive such an interview.
"You've been saying this for a long time, Joe, that Bannon is acting like President Bannon, and yet so far the real president has not got rid of him, so there's got to be some reason, whether it's personal relationship, whether it's political affinity over nationalism, that Trump is very reluctant to let Bannon go," Kay said.
Scarborough, who has used the "President Bannon" moniker before, said Bannon leaks to "everybody" and does it as if he is the president.
"He is leaker number one, and it is remarkable—the reason I've been calling him President Bannon—because he talks, as he did in that interview, like he's the president," Scarborough said.
Bannon also called economic war with China "everything" and ripped ethno-nationalists on the alt-right as "losers."
Bannon's relationship with Trump has been fraught in recent weeks with the appointment of new Chief of Staff John Kelly and suspicions that he has been behind leaks meant to damage National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. McMaster was unable to say on Sunday whether he could work with Bannon going forward.
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said he suspected Bannon and ex-Chief of Staff Priebus were behind more than half of the leaks coming out of the White House.
Trump would not expressly say Tuesday whether he had confidence in Bannon.