Stephen K. Bannon, Chairman of Citizens of the American Republic, and host of the War Room Impeachment podcast was interviewed by Liz Landers of Vice News in a sometimes terse and often mocking tones by Landers, regarding the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
Landers was often dismissive of Bannon, exposing that she was there to frame the discussion with the Democrats talking points about Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine, and to cast doubt that Trump was interested in rooting out corruption in other countries.
Bannon, a Navy Veteran, told a confused Landers about the problems he had with the witnesses against Trump in the Democrats impeachment hearings to date, “If Barack Obama wins the election he is the commander in chief, it is going to be the policies he implements, you have a chain of Command that you might not like you are duty-bound to resign. You do not have the option of doing your own national security policy,” he said.
Talking about the foundation for Trump’s America First military policies, Bannon, clearly speaking over the head of Landers said, “the American military is seen [by career bureaucrats] as this global humanitarian relief force and that is what has gotten us into this situation. We have to make sure that other countries are involved,” Bannon said to Landers who was visibly uncomfortable with that line of logic.
Landers interrupted, bored with Bannon’s intense focus on America and not the merits of the Administrative State, and said, ” he [Trump] talks about all of that a lot, but he doesn’t talk about Ukraine. It wasn’t in the transcript of the call. Did you have any conversations about Ukrainian corruption?” she asked.
Staying on message, Bannon answered, “we talked about if we give foreign military aid- that money has to go into where we want it. In addition, our other allies have to put money in the till also. We talked about not writing blank checks all of the time. Ukraine is a sideshow to a sideshow,” he said.
Showing her mission to frame the narrative, Landers returns to her attempts to get Bannon to say that Trump was not concerned specifically with Ukraine’s Corruption while rolling her eyes and being impatient, asks him why he is doing a daily podcast.
Bannon added the background for his own motivations, ” I have been trying to build this populist movement for 10 years. I am a huge believer in President Trump, his presidency and this populist movement,” he said.
In her line of questioning, Landers exposes her deep-seated allegiance with centralized authority, Bannon stays on messaging that the people elected Trump for his foreign policy changes, to “drain the swamp”.
Landers misrepresented Trump’s phone call in what is the tensest exchange between Bannon and Landers.
Bannon, talking about the past as “the managed decline of America with a consensus of people like Clinton McCain, Rubio, Bush, Albright, Obama,” he told Landers, “that was exactly what was rejected by the American people.”
Bannon tells Landers that Ukraine was a good example of the new America First policy shift in foreign policy, he said” Ukraine is a great example of this, that we are not giving blank checks to military spending that we don’t understand, and also to we are going ask about the allies. We are not going to export American Crony Capitalism.”
Clearly annoyed and dismissive , Landers says there is no proof that Ukraine was involved with the 2016 election, and that Trump is pushing a conspiracy theory to say so.
Apparently short on investigating skills, Landers was unaware of the articles in the Hill and Politico on the matter as early as 2017. Bannon says that it is not settled yet what happened during the election.
Bannon said, “I am a huge believer in the American people, if they get all of the information, they are the jury, they are going to weigh and measure all of this
Landers finishes by going back to Trump’s motivations and intentions, saying, “that the President admits in his call he is investigating a political opponent,” Bannon points out that is not true.
Bannon finishes,” There is no mention of corruption, he talks about the Bidens. It is about the corruption that the Bidens represented. It is about Biden’s Crony Capitalism in China and Ukraine, that Joe Biden thru his son Hunter made a secret empire of cash. We are saying that will stop under Trump, when you put up $350 Million dollars of the taxpayers money, that we have tried to vet all of the corruption in these countries for where that money will go, and that it is well spent, and to make sure that other countries will have skin in the game.”