Days after President Donald Trump tweeted out his love for his former top adviser Steve Bannon, the man he called one of his “best pupils” praised Trump and said the deadly El Paso shooting was in fact proof of how great a job the president is doing.
Bannon was interviewed on Monday on the The Howie Carr Show. Another former Trump adviser, Corey Lewandowski, was filling in for Carr as guest host of the syndicated radio program.
Asked about Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects and whether Democrats would be able to take back several key states, Bannon claimed the field of candidates attacking the president for being racist were in fact attacking Trump’s economic success, and would ultimately fail.
Bannon then launched into a stunning rant about how Trump was the reason there were so many people at the Walmart when an alleged white supremacist gunman carried out a mass attack on Saturday.
“Let’s talk about this horrible situation in El Paso the other day,” Bannon began. “You know, it was at a Walmart at 10:30 in the morning. That’s part of the Trump economic miracle.”
“What you had is El Paso, which I think is 80% Hispanic Americans, you had citizens over there from Mexico,” he continued. “They’re in the Walmart because the economy’s booming. We have the lowest Hispanic unemployment in this country in, what, 50 years? Right. And you have another one of these monsters, right, another one of these monsters that go in there.”
Bannon, who once boasted that he ran “the platform for the alt-right” — the conservative site Breitbart — then claimed again this was proof that critics of Trump were really just attacking “the Trump miracle.”
“What [the Democratic candidates are] attacking is the Trump miracle,” he said. “… You see the job reports the other day that wages are starting to rise again. So this is the Trump economic miracle, and I don’t see any of these candidates addressing that.”
Trump’s former campaign manager Lewandowski, who said this week that he is seriously considering seeking the Republican nomination next year to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), did not push back against the argument.
A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, which posted the interview on YouTube this week, blasted both former Trump aides.
“The fact that Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon are connecting the tragedy in El Paso to their own campaign talking points on the Trump economy is sickening,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Lewandowski and Bannon have come up with a response to this shooting that is even worse than the Congressional Republicans who are refusing to act on common sense gun safety legislation.”
Lewandowski did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about the interview. Repeated attempts to reach Bannon were unsuccessful.