Steve Bannon goes on bizarre rant about Michelle Obama’s voter drive

Ex-White House official complains Democrats compare Trump supporters to fascists after January 6

John Bowden
Monday 10 January 2022 22:01 GMT
Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago on 28 September, 2021.
Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago on 28 September, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)
Leer en Español

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon denounced a vow from former first lady Michelle Obama to engage in voter registration efforts, suggesting that the move was a response to his own strategy aimed at asserting control over the GOP on behalf of Donald Trump.

The ex-Trump administration official, who was ousted from the White House in the early days of Mr Trump’s presidency, went on a bizarre rant during his “War Room” podcast in response to an ad placed by Ms Obama in The New York Times which touted the group effort by Democratic-leaning organisations to register more than 1 million new voters before the midterm elections.

Mr Bannon’s name and his political efforts to win influence in the GOP were not mentioned at all in Ms Obama’s advertisement, so it was unclear what provoked the former Trump aide’s anger. The closest the former first lady came to referring to Mr Bannon was a veiled shot at GOP attempts to “mak[e] it harder to vote” in a tweet about the advertisement.

On Monday’s episode of his podcast, Mr Bannon reiterated that his goal was to “take over the Republican Party”, before he turned his fire on Ms Obama.

"Remember, there are no coincidences. Michelle Obama who has floated above this thing at 60,000 feet with Barack Obama, floating above it because they're national heroes, according to some people, over the weekend, what did she say she was going to do?" he asked. "She's going to lead an effort to sign up one million new voters for progressives. How many of those are going to be citizens?"

He also had harsh words for New York Times opinion columnist Ezra Klein, who referred to Mr Bannon’s efforts in an op-ed over the weekend about the need for Democratic Party voters to begin running for local offices themselves.

“If they sign up to take over the Republican Party, this is the rise of fascism,” Mr Bannon said, referring to what he said was Mr Klein’s beliefs. Mr Klein did not use language referring to Mr Bannon or others as authoritarians anywhere in the op-ed, though he made several references to the supposed end of democracy in America.

The midterm elections are quickly shaping up to be a pivotal moment for the Biden presidency as they will determine what, if any, legislation the president will be able to pursue for the remainder of his first term in office.

A number of Republicans in Congress have also made threats to file articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden in retaliation for the two House votes to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2020 and 2021.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in