Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, two of former President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies, said another term in office for the Republican frontrunner would see him target “conspirators” in the media.
Patel, who served as a chief of staff in the Pentagon and worked in the Justice Department, made the comments in an interview on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. Bannon said a second Trump term would see the so-called deep state “taken apart, brick by brick,” claiming people who did “evil deeds” would be held accountable and prosecuted.
“We will follow the facts and the law,” Patel replied. “We will go out and find the conspirators — not just in government, but in the media. Yes, we’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens, who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.”
“We’re going to come after you,” Patel continued. “Whether it’s criminally or civilly, we’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice, and Steve, this is why they hate us. This is why we’re tyrannical. This is why we’re dictators.”
Bannon earlier issued an ultimatum to those in the media, saying his words were “absolutely dead serious” and blaming those in the “deep state” for destroying the country.
Trump himself promised “retribution” earlier this year should he be elevated to the Oval Office once more. He remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and has built his campaign on anger surrounding his 2020 electoral loss to Joe Biden.
He declined to say he would abuse power or retaliate against his political opponents in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday, adding he planned to act like a “dictator” on just the first day of a new term.
The Associated Press reported later Tuesday that the Trump campaign had distanced itself from Bannon and Patel’s comments, saying their remarks “have nothing to do” with the former president’s aims.