Trump vs US media: White House strategist says expect a daily ‘fight’

The Obama move had only affected a small portion of the US prison system: 13 privately run prisons housing just over 22,000 people, or about 11 percent of the federal prison population. Most are foreign nationals, mainly Mexicans incarcerated for immigration violations.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2017 22:00 IST
AFP, Oxon Hill, United States
Donald Trump,White House,Stephen Bannon
White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, US on February 23.(REUTERS)

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told conservatives Thursday to expect a daily ‘fight’ as President Donald Trump pushes through his agenda despite a US media in “opposition” to his every move.

“It’s not only not going to get better it’s going get worse,” Bannon told thousands of grass roots activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just outside Washington, referring to media organizations who he said were “opposed to the economic nationalist agenda” laid out by the new president.

“If you think they’re going to give the country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said in one of his first public speeches since the January inauguration.

“Every day, every day is going to be a fight.”

Bannon, the former chief of Breitbart, a popular conservative website that has faced criticism for fuelling the so-called “alt-right” movement that includes racist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant elements, is among the most provocative members of Trump’s inner circle.

He is seen as wielding immense power with the president, who has come to lean heavily on the former Goldman Sachs executive for the direction of his economic and foreign policy agenda.

In his attacks on the American press, Trump has an ally in Bannon, who described the media as “the opposition party” that “betrayed the campaign, and is now betraying the administration.”

Bannon was joined on stage by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who proclaimed Trump the uniter of the movement through his shock election victory in November.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, right, and White House strategist Stephen Bannon, speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill on Feb. 23. (AP Photo)

“The truth of the matter is ... Trump brought together the party and the conservative movement,” Priebus said.

“And I’ve got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together, similar to Steve and I, it can’t be stopped.”

Bannon and Priebus have reportedly been at odds, amid rumors of internal White House rivalries. But at CPAC, Priebus played down any discord between them.

The two share an office suite, and work together for some 17 hours a day, Priebus was quick to point out.

But even in the banter, Bannon appeared to inadvertently highlight their differences.

“I have a little thing called the war room, he has a fireplace, nice sofas,” Bannon said.

First Published: Feb 24, 2017 12:25 IST