Bannon calls Pelosi's impeachment strategy “actually quite brilliant”

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Washington — Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, saying her handling of the impeachment inquiry is “actually quite brilliant.”

“I disagree with her ideologically, but I think Nancy Pelosi is a master at political warfare. I think, strategically, what she has done from their perspective is actually quite brilliant,” Bannon said in an interview with CBS News. 

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Bannon, who has fallen in and out of favor with President Trump, recently started a podcast called “War Room: Impeachment,” with former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller and Raheem Kassam, a former adviser to right-wing British politician Nigel Farage.

Bannon said a “sense of urgency” among the president’s allies “is not there today,” in contrast to the enthusiasm for impeachment among Democrats. He also said Republicans “are not as united on messaging as the Democrats.”

But Bannon predicted the impeachment inquiry could actually be “quite healthy” for the president’s reelection prospects. He said Wednesday’s hearing before the House Intelligence Committee marks the unofficial start to the presidential campaign.

“You’ve got to get maniacally focused on how you’re going to make this case to the American people, and it’s going to start tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.,” Bannon said.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon during an interview on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. CBS News

In the hearing on Wednesday, the committee will hear from Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. On Friday, lawmakers will hear from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Bannon, who has been criticized for his anti-immigrant and nationalist positions, left the Trump administration in 2017, days after an avowed white nationalist struck and killed a demonstrator with a car following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

But he has not stayed out of the spotlight since leaving the administration. He was the subject of a documentary on his political initiatives in Europe and the 2018 midterm elections, and testified this week in the trial of Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser.

Mr. Trump disavowed Bannon in early 2018 after Bannon was featured prominently in a primary source for “Fire and Fury,” which was highly critical of the president and his family. The controversy resulted in Bannon stepping down as chairman of Breitbart News, which he had founded.

Tuesday’s interview was recorded in the basement of Breitbart headquarters on Capitol Hill. 

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