Live from Virginia Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed host of War Room Pandemic Steven K. Bannon to the program.
During the interview, Bannon reflected on Trump’s response to the coronavirus as making bold action and displaying true leadership however he thought it was time to turn the negativity and poor response to the Bob Woodward interview around by focusing on the campaign and hard messaging for the next 55 days.
Fredericks: Joining us now, former Senior Strategist of the White House. And now he is the host of the ever-expanding, burgeoning, most popular radio show in the Milky Way, War Room Pandemic, heard on the John Fredericks Show heard from 10 to noon Monday through Saturday, and also America’s Voice News Live. On The Dish and he’s live there. Also 11 pm to midnight every night on Newsmax TV, Steve Bannon. Steve, great to have you this morning.
Bannon: Thanks, and hi to all the folks down at Liberty. It’s one of the great institutions, and they are doing great work. I’m glad you are down there today.
Fredericks: Steve, you were Senior Strategist in the White House. The Bob Woodward book has me really upset today. Not about what was in it. I get what the president was doing. But I just got to ask you this question. You are in the middle of an election.
You have all this going on. Why on earth as the President of the United States are you allowing Bob Woodward to conduct 20 hours of interviews and over 18 appearances. Eighteen times, 20 hours on tape live. Did you think anything positive was going to come out of that?
Bannon: Well, you’ve got to ask the people that were around the president that should have strategically thought this through. John, I think if you go down that route you’ll be banging your head on the wall. I think the summary is number one, the conservatives and the people that support President Trump who are focused on winning, because we are what, at 55 days away?
And really it’s 133 days, because the election is not going to be called until the night before the inauguration. So we’ve got four or five months of a grind in front of us. And all the Trump supporters and all Trump nation, and everybody that cares about this country, and Ben Franklin statement, you have a republic if you can keep it. All those people have to be focused on one thing.
Winning on November 3 and making sure it’s not stolen from the president between November 3 and the inauguration. And that’s going take a massive mobilization effort. I’m so glad you started off the hour talking about the new group that’s trying to get people organized. We need new groups like that. We need many of them. You go back to the Woodward book. You can play Monday morning quarterback and find out how it happened, and access to Woodward, who’s obviously no fan of the president. I think the most important thing is to get in.
I think Dr. Fauci has not been as data-driven and science-driven. Let’s go back. If you look at President Trump’s actions, and you look at what he did. What Woodward is accusing him in the book and the mainstream media is in a meltdown about, I think it doesn’t stock up. Dr. Fauci was pretty adamant last night when he said that President Trump took every recommendation and every action and statement that he thought he said was in line with what the task force was saying. And let’s go back and look at that.
He really made a courageous statement. Look, we are the guys that got on this thing first because of our understanding of China, and our focus on taking down the Chinese Communist Party. We were on this first in mid-January. We were sounding the alarms then. President Trump’s initial actions were probably the boldest in American history.
He took two actions. One gets downplayed. One. He banned all travel from China. Number two, he quarantined American citizens for the first time in 50 years. And that was opposed by all of the politicians, including Nancy Pelosi. And Joe Biden took the Beijing line on that weekend. He called Trump a nativist, a racist, a xenophobe. He took the Beijing party line.
Trump’s initial reformulating the task force with people like Peter Navarro, who got a bigger voice in it. Remember in March when everybody was saying Nancy Pelosi, and all these people were going to Chinatown and really mocking the president for what he was trying to do about this. President Trump called a national emergency.
He then stopped all travel from Europe. And then started to really put the governors in this kind of federalist system, that they would manage the program and the US government would provide a massive amount of resources. Whether it was for ventilators or, at the time, maybe getting hydroxy out in the field. Building field hospitals. In your radio network area, he went down to Hampton Roads and saw off the hospital ship to go off to New York City. He built field hospitals. He deployed the Army. If you go back and look at the actions.
Look what Dr. Fauci said, and of what the task force was recommending at that time. Could the president have done more? On the margins, you might be able to argue that. But he might have done less. But he didn’t. He really focused on this thing. I think his record is very defensible. And if I was him, I would go back and defend the record. He also made a very good point.
He didn’t want to cause a panic, and I think that’s very important. I think that shows leadership. He didn’t want to cause panic in people, because at the time we had such little knowledge about this. We now know, and there will be papers coming out, that this thing was definitely lab-enhanced from Wuhan.
All the people that were mocked and ridiculed, folks like myself, Tom Cotton, and Gertz, you’re going to start to see academic papers coming out in the next week or two. We knew very little about this pandemic and virus back in the beginning. The president was doing what he was supposed to be doing by taking bold action – moving the ball forward. Trying to get national stockpiles up to speed.
Empowering this task force. Empowering Dr. Fauci and bringing on Dr. Birx, I think his track record is very solid. And to me, if you start worrying about the process, because that in itself is a nightmare, you don’t have that luxury of time with 55 days left. You have to focus on the things at hand. And I do think they really need to get organized on the response on this, in the first 24 hours has not been great.
Fredericks: No. It’s been horrible.
Bannon: I think the president should not have gone out. I think people need to understand that you have amazingly sophisticated people like Jason Miller and Steve Cortes on the con side. I think they need some warriors like Rudy Guiliani and others out as surrogates right now that have a sense of gravitas.
Tomorrow is the 19th commemoration of 9-11. The president and his team need to catch a breath and then look at the facts. And I think Dr. Fauci said it last night. He was pretty adamant. There was no big recommendation coming from the task force, which were the best guys in the government and lauded by the media, that the president didn’t do. I think the president on top of that, having a sense of not wanting to instill panic with people, not knowing what this was going to be, or direction it was going to go, I think it was pretty even-handed.
He had some power moves. As you know and the audience knows, we were very much that if you are going to do this, you are going to go through hell, go through it as fast as possible. We were for a more concentrated and tougher lockdown and then move on.
But they did it the other day, with the 30 days to flatten the curve and all that. And it turned out that at the time it was appropriate. If I was the White House and the campaign, I would get focused on hard messaging today. I would fire back on this thing big and just get on with the campaign.
Fredericks: I think you are spot on. I was upset that he even sat down for the interviews. I couldn’t believe that you would do that and think that somehow, with Bob Woodward’s book coming out in September, that was going to help you. To me, that was just an asinine decision. You’ve got to call this stuff out. It was just a bad decision in my view. Nothing good is going to come of that. Here is what you nailed, Steve Bannon, is the response last night was anemic.
It was not thought through. It was wobbly, and I think it added fuel to the fire. What you are saying now is absolutely correct. They should take this opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade, if you will, or turn it or hit hard like a bazooka on all the things that Biden said and didn’t do. And also what they did. They’ve got all the evidence and the facts. I think this is an opportunity to do that. But I thought the response last night was anemic.
Listen to the full interview here.