White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon criticized Democratic elites for not caring about history and suggested that was the reason they didn't understand President Donald Trump's appeal after the events in Charlottesville.
As Bannon previously indicated to The American Prospect, he thought that liberals spent too much time talking about race, something that Bannon suggested ultimately benefited Trump politically.
“This past election, the Democrats used every personal attack, including charges of racism, against President Trump. He then won a landslide victory on a straightforward platform of economic nationalism,” Bannon told The Washington Post on Thursday.
“As long as the Democrats fail to understand this, they will continue to lose. But leftist elites do not value history, so why would they learn from history?”
In an interview with The American Prospect published on Wednesday, Bannon similarly expressed his desire for Democrats to continue talking about racism.
“[T]he longer [Democrats] talk about identity politics, I got ’em,“ Bannon reportedly told the Prospect. ”I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
Bannon's comments came amidst widespread denunciations of Trump for comments he made on Tuesday regarding the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Although Trump explicitly denounced white supremacy on multiple occasions, he also reiterated on Tuesday that both sides in Charlottesville were to blame.
During his Tuesday press conference, Trump defended Bannon but speculation has swirled around whether the president will fire his chief strategist. On Thursday, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Bannon was “exploiting the racial issue,” and called for Trump to remove him from the White House.