Bannon, Priebus Double Down on Media as ‘Opposition Party’; It Will ‘Get Worse’ for Them

Among the highlights for the first day of CPAC 2017, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus doubled down on their attacks against the media as the former referred to them as “the opposition party” having been “dead wrong” about the election to the point that life will “get worse every day” as the administration implements their agenda.

American Conservative Union (ACU) president Matt Schlapp almost immediately pointed to the media at the start of the conversation to which Bannon wondered if it was indeed “the opposition party.” 

On what the “the biggest misconception” was “about what's going on in the Donald Trump White House,” Priebus simply claimed it’s “everything that you’re reading” in the media.

Clearly speaking with no reservations, Bannon cited the day he and Kellyanne Conway joined the campaign in August 2016 in describing how wrong the media have beenup to today in the White House:

But we've known it since August 15th and I think if you look at, you know, the opposition party and how they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition, and now they’re portraying the administration, it's always wrong. I mean, on the very first day that Kellyanne and I started, we reached out to Reince, Sean Spicer, Katie, it’s the same team that, you know, was grinding away on the campaign, the same team that did the transition. And if you remember, you know, the campaign was the most chaotic, you know, by the media's description, most chaotic, most disorganized, most unprofessional, had no earthly idea what they were doing and then you saw them all crying and weeping that night, on the 8th[.]

Priebus replied that Americans “were starving for was somebody real” and when they got that in the President, “the media attacked us on the campaign” and through the transition with “ridiculous stories” trying to undermine Trump’s attempts to “hit his agenda every single day.” 

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Moments later, Bannon returned to his favorite target, ruling:

Just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the campaign, and just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the transition, they are absolutely dead wrong about what's going on today because we have a team grinding it through on what President Donald Trump promised the American people and the mainstream media better understand something, all of those promises are going to be implemented. 

Schlapp noted the “great democraticization in news” in which “[p]eople get their news now from literally hundreds and thousands of sites” before asking the pair what and why the media “keep getting [things] wrong.”

“Um, I think there’s hope that it’s going to change. I mean, we sit here every day and the President pumps out all this work, putting out and the executive orders and punching through the promises that he made to the America people, so we’re hoping that the media would catch up eventually,” Priebus replied.

Near the end of the 25-minute exchange, Bannon uncorked this warning to the media industry that has already drawn a number of responses from various outlets:

It's not only going to get better, it's going to get worse every day in the media. And here's why — by the way, the internal logic makes sense. They're corporatists, globalist media that are adamantly opposed — adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has....Here’s why it's going to get worse. Because he's going to continue to press his agenda. And as economic conditions get better, as more jobs get better, they're going to continue to fight. If you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you're sadly mistaken. Every day, every day it is going to be a fight and that is what I'm proudest about Donald Trump. 

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from CPAC 2017:

Conservative Political Action Conference 2017
February 23, 2017
1:52 p.m. Eastern

MATT SCHLAPP: Now, let me ask you two. I'm looking in the back of the room as well, but let me ask you too. 

STEVE BANNON: Is that the opposition party? 

SCHLAPP [laughing]: Yes. Let me ask you two. We read a lot about you two. 

REINCE PRIEBUS: It's all good. 

SCHLAPP: But I bet not all of it's accurate — I bet not all of it’s accurate. I bet there are some things that don't get written correctly. Let me ask each one of you. What's the biggest misconception about what's going on in the Donald Trump White House? 

PRIEBUS: Well in regard to us two, I think the biggest misconception is everything that you're reading. 

(....)

BANNON: But we've known it since August 15th and I think if you look at, you know, the opposition party and how they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition, and now they’re portraying the administration, it's always wrong. I mean, on the very first day that Kellyanne and I started, we reached out to Reince, Sean Spicer, Katie, it’s the same team that, you know, was grinding away on the campaign, the same team that did the transition. And if you remember, you know, the campaign was the most chaotic, you know, by the media's description, most chaotic, most disorganized, most unprofessional, had no earthly idea what they were doing and then you saw them all crying and weeping that night, on the 8th, when — when — [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] And the reason it worked — the reason it worked is — is President Trump. I mean, Trump had those ideas, had that energy, had that vision that could galvanize a team around him of disparate — look, we're a coalition. You know, lot of people have strong beliefs about different things but we understand that you can come together to win and we understood that from August 15th and we never had a doubt and Donald Trump never had a doubt he was going to win and I think that is the power of this movement. 

PRIEBUS: And — and on top of that, first of all, President Trump laid out his vision — what was it? Four or five years ago here at CPAC. 

SCHLAPP: That's right. 

PRIEBUS: And it was that vision — it’s nothing different. If you go back and watch the tape of President Trump four or five years ago, that was the Trump agenda. One of the things that I used to say all the time and Governor Walker and everybody gets sick of me saying it, but I think that President Trump found it, what was what this country — what all of us were starving for the whole time cause we’re so sick of politics and politicians in spite of the fact that we love being here, we actually politics, but what we were starving for was somebody real. Somebody genuine. Somebody that was actually who he said he was, and the — the media attacked us on the campaign. Remember, attacked me — oh, you can't spend the money on Trump. Go give it to the Senate, attacked us on the transition. We — President Trump put in the best cabinet in the history of cabinets, I think. Now, the ridiculous stories and all we do every day and all President Trump does every day is hit his agenda every single day, whether it's TPP, whether it’s deregulation, whether it’s Neil Gorsuch, whatever it is — his promise is coming through every day. 

SCHLAPP: He's even leaving bathrooms alone. That’s kind of a nice, refreshing thing for a lot of people as well.

PRIEBUS: We happen to think it’s a state issue. 

SCHLAPP: Of course. 

BANNON: But I think let’s go to that point Reince made for a second. President Trump when he was running, he made — and this is the other thing, that the mainstream media or opposition party never caught, is that, if you want to see the Trump agenda, it's very simple. It was all in the speeches. He went around to these rallies with those speeches had tremendous amount of content in them, right? I happen to believe, and many others do, he's probably the greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Brian. This was galvanized.

(....)

BANNON: Just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the campaign, and just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the transition, they are absolutely dead wrong about what's going on today because we have a team grinding it through on what President Donald Trump promised the American people and the mainstream media better understand something, all of those promises are going to be implemented.

(....)

SCHLAPP: You know, we all — we all consume a lot of news. We watch and read a lot of things. There's been a great democraticization in news. People get their news now from literally hundreds and thousands of sites. What would each of you say -- what is the — there's always polls being put out, is Donald Trump doing a good job, is Donald Trump doing a bad job. I know what you all think. We've been hearing it all — all day. What is it that they keep getting wrong? Do you think it ever gets fixed? What does the media get wrong about this Trump phenomenon and what's happening in the country and is there any hope that this changes? 

PRIEBUS: Um, I think there’s hope that it’s going to change. I mean, we sit here every day and the President pumps out all this work, putting out and the executive orders and punching through the promises that he made to the America people, so we’re hoping that the media would catch up eventually.

(....)

BANNON: The reason Reince and I are good partners is that we can disagree. It's not only going to get better, it's going to get worse every day in the media. And here's why — by the way, the internal logic makes sense. They're corporatists, globalist media that are adamantly opposed — adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has. President Trump really laid this out, as Reince said, many years ago at CPAC. It’s really CPAC that originally gave him the springboard. It's the first time at Breitbart we started seeing him and saw how his speeches resonated with people. And then he would go out to smaller town halls later and really, he got traction with the same message he's bringing today. Here's the only — here’s why it's going to get worse. Because he's going to continue to press his agenda. And as economic conditions get better, as more jobs get better, they're going to continue to fight. If you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you're sadly mistaken. Every day, every day it is going to be a fight and that is what I'm proudest about Donald Trump. 

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