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Screengrab via 60 Minutes

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appears on 60 Minutes Sunday night in his first-ever TV interview.

Top quote: "The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That's a brutal fact we have to face."

  • On 'the establishment': "In the 48 hours after we won, there's a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. I mean, we totally embraced the establishment ... Because ya had to staff a government."
  • On his relationship with the president: "I think I'm a street fighter. And by the way, I think that's why Donald Trump and I get along so well. Donald Trump's a fighter. Great counter puncher. Great counter puncher. He's a fighter. I'm going to be his wing man outside for the entire time, to protect [Trump]" and "to make sure his enemies know that there's no free shot on goal."
  • On Trump's Charlottesville remarks: "I was the only guy that came out and tried to defend him."
  • On Gary Cohn's critical interview with the Financial Times: "If you don't like what [Trump's] doing and you don't agree with it, you have an obligation to resign."
  • On Republican criticism of Trump's national security strategy: "That's the geniuses of the Bush administration. I hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt ... They're idiots, and they've gotten us in this situation, and they question a good man like Donald Trump," Bannon said, naming Condoleezza Rice, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell.
  • On the Russia investigation: "It's a total and complete farce. Russian collusion is a farce."
  • On Trump's tweets: "He knows he's speaking directly to the people who put him in office when he uses Twitter ... [General Kelly's] not going to be able to control it either because it's Donald Trump."
  • On campaign discussions following the Access Hollywood tape's release: "Trump went around the room and asked people the percentages he thought of still winning and what the recommendation. And Reince started off and Reince said, 'You have two choices. You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.' ... And I told him as he went around, I was the last guy to speak, and I said, 'It's 100%. You have 100% probability of winning.'"
  • On the Catholic Church's support of DACA: "Because unable to really to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches."

Go deeper

41 mins ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"

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