From left, Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, looks to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Vice President Mike Pence before the start of President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joint new conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 

The submission of Mueller’s long awaited final report was a key milestone for President Trump. His vindication has changed everything.

Former White House advisor Steve Bannon spoke to Yahoo! News’ Melissa Rossi on Friday prior to the delivery of the report to Attorney General William Barr and again on Sunday, after Barr had released his summary to Congress.

Bannon predicts that Trump will now “go full animal” against his political foes. He said:

When I saw no new indictments — I thought, Oh my God! They didn’t indict anybody regarding the Flynn investigation, they didn’t indict Don, Jr.! Maybe [Mueller] could have details about obstruction of justice that are not indictable, but are meaningful. But right now, it looks like they have nothing.

“And he predicts Trump will ‘come off the chains’— and use the Mueller findings to browbeat the opposition and ignore House requests for more documents: ‘He will use it to bludgeon them.'”

He added that “the left is in tears. On ‘Rachel Maddow,’ she went ten minutes into her show before the words ‘no indictment’ crossed her lips. On CNN, they’re in the mumble tank. They’re crestfallen. They thought this would be it.”

Bannon also weighed in on the current field of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

He told Yahoo! that he believes he “inspired some ideas now circulating among the left-populist wing of the Democratic Party. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has the most ambitious policy agenda among the leading presidential contenders is sort of stealing from me in her proposal to break up and regulate the giant tech and social-media companies such as Google and Facebook” and said he’d “been pushing for them to be treated as public utilities since 2017.”

Bannon noted that even though Warren “is coming at this with some fundamental populist policies,” he doesn’t think she stands a chance. “She’s consistently gone down [in polls] — she’s now at 8 percent. I don’t think we’re ever going to see her in double digits. Why? Because Trump is focused on her.” He believes that Trump’s constant ridicule of her “Native American” history has stuck and said that “Trump has destroyed her candidacy.”

He said Joe Biden is “too old, too tired and he’s lost his star. You’ll see peak [support for] Biden the day he announces.” “He doubts the former vice president could hold up in “mano a mano” battle against the sitting president.”

Kamala Harris is “a classic Democratic centrist with a career as a prosecutor who has been so pulled to the left, so quickly it’s surprising — and that’s an issue.”

He pointed out that Beto O’Rourke’s policies “are shockingly unformed,” but he’s “betting that they will emerge, at least for a while, as Democratic frontrunners, forging an alliance with Harris as president and O’Rourke as vice president — in the short term, at least.”

Bannon believes that “the Democratic candidacy will go to someone who ran in the 2016 election — and not Bernie Sanders.”

Does he really think Hillary will join the race? He told Rossi:

By this fall, unless one of these candidates has broken out on a national basis, Hillary Clinton will step up. She’ll look at this field and say, ‘What a nice group of people — and not one of them can beat Donald Trump.’ ‘I’ve learned from my mistakes, I beat him by 3 million, and there’s not one person in this field who can do that.

Rossi asked him if Democrats would take her back. He replied,  “She’s a viable alternative. And Democrats want Donald Trump out of their lives. As much as Hillary is despised by progressives,” he said that “Democrats will come together over any candidate that will take down Trump. All these policies —like Medicare for all — aren’t going to matter. The simple theme for the Democrats is ‘Orange Man Bad.’”

Finally, he was asked about the expected House Committee investigations of Trump. His take is that “the anemic Mueller report will deflate them — and simultaneously inflate the president. If the Mueller report doesn’t have details about obstruction of justice, Trump will say, ‘We’re not dealing with Jerry Nadler — here’s a club, Jerry Nadler!’”

He added that “Nadler can request, but you’ve got to get the Justice Department to issue subpoenas … And Bill Barr is going to be like, ‘Guys, all the information you want went to Mueller, read the transcript.’” He told Rossi that “most investigations into Trump are effectively dead in the water.”

Say what you want about Steve Bannon, but he was one of the few strategists who believed Trump would win the presidency in 2016.