Bannon: If Trump Is Reelected, He Will Be in ‘Payback Mode’

In comments to POLITICO, published in Playbook on Thursday, Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said  that if President Trump is reelected in 2020, the country is going to get “pure Trump off the chain.”

He also said that the president’s second term would be “four years of Donald Trump in payback mode,” indicating that the “payback” would be in response to what he perceives as mistreatment by Democrats.

According to Bannon, investigations into the president by House Democrats, along with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and negative media coverage, have angered the president, who views them all as personal, politically-motivated attacks.

Bannon also said that in his view it is likely that Trump will win a second term, given the Democrats current strategy and pool of 2020 candidates.

“Every other day I see another person jumping into the race. I think those people are rational and the people around them are rational,” Bannon said of the Democrats running for president. “They must see something in the field that makes them feel like they can make a run. … I don’t see anybody in that field as of now who can take on Trump one-on-one.”

He added that “you’re not going to beat Trump with policies,” pointing to low polling numbers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“Warren has an incredibly detailed and probably the most well thought-through set of policy prescriptions, and they keep coming every day,” Bannon told POLITICO. “She’s at, what, 7 percent, 8 percent?”

The former Trump adviser and White House official also agreed with recent news reports predicting that Hillary Clinton might still run for president. She has said that she does not plan to enter the race, but Bannon is not sure that is true.

“If they don’t think that they’ve got somebody that can beat him, the vampire is going to be in the bullpen,” Bannon said, referring to Clinton. “She did get 63 million votes.”

Bannon left the administration in the summer 2017 and later had a public falling out with Trump due to unflattering comments attributed to him in the media.