White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was supportive of President Trump’s decision at a Tuesday press conference to double down on his earlier claim that neo-Nazis were just as blameworthy as counter-protestors during the unrest in Charlottesville, the political news site Axios reported.
“Steve was proud of how [Trump] stood up to the braying mob of reporters,” a source told reporter Jonathan Swan. Bannon reportedly views the incident as a “defining moment” of the Trump presidency.
Swan added that “Bannon has unapologetically supported Trump’s instinct to apportion blame to ‘both sides.’ Sources who’ve spoken with Bannon since Charlottesville say he views this moment as analogous to the campaign moment when Hillary Clinton condemned half of Trump’s supporters to a ‘basket of deplorables.’”
While Bannon has reportedly been on the outs with Trump over the past few weeks as new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly imposed order on the often-unruly West Wing, the president spoke with Bannon three times in four days in the aftermath of the Charlottesville events.
Bannon has faced calls to be fired due to his support for the so-called “alt-right” movement in his role as proprietor of the website Breitbart.