Blaming GOP establishment, Bannon speech warns of 'brutal 2018' race

In a blistering assault on the Republican establishment and President Donald Trump’s political adversaries, former White House advisor Steve Bannon predicted there will be an effort to impeach the president if Republicans lose the House.

“Donald Trump is a blunt force instrument,” Bannon said.

In a wide-ranging speech that touched on the rise of China, the dangers of Turkish President Recep Erdoğan and the threat from radical Islamic terrorism, the controversial political advisor said he thinks Trump’s opponents simply are working to throw him out of office.

“When I left the White House the very first thing I said is that I’m going after the Republican establishment, because they are trying to nullify this as much as the left.”

He warned that the political battle will play out through next year.

“The constitutional struggle that we are going to have in 2018 and the lead up to it, is going to be brutal, a brutal midterm election. It is going to be something unprecedented in American history,” Bannon predicted.

“If we get crushed, the first thing that they are going to do in the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach Donald J. Trump, I don’t care what they say.”

Bannon spoke at a New York City luncheon event sponsored by the Gatestone Institute, a “non-partisan, not for profit international policy council and think tank, dedicated to educating the public about what the media fails to report,” it says.

“Mr. Bannon seems concerned about international threats facing America,” said Gatestone’s President Nina Rosenwald, who invited him as part of the group’s fall lecture series. “We thought he might bring up topics that need addressing that nobody else is looking at.”

“We have the ability to put together a coalition that can govern for 50 years,” Bannon told the audience, but warned of a potential G.O.P. defeat because he believes that the ruling-party powers are not connected to average Americans.

“The establishment is not prepared, they don’t have a sense of urgency, and they don’t understand the working class people in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in Michigan, in Minnesota and in Iowa and Ohio. What we did we can replicate. We can replicate it, though, with hard work, and wisdom. And if we blow this, we are never going to get it back. You have to understand, it is never coming back. We have the ability to change this country.”

Bannon, who is supporting some insurgent candidates in upcoming Republican primaries, did not delve into the growing sexual misconduct allegations surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Bannon supported Moore over President Trump’s primary pick, the incumbent Senator Luther Strange, and only mentioned the controversy briefly. He cited it as an example of what he considers the establishment’s panic.

“They’re petrified of the opposition party. You know what my super power is? I don’t give a damn. I could care less what they say about me. I could care less. It’s about action. The Republican Party and the leaders of the Republican Party are cowards. You are writing your checks to cowards. Understand this. They are there for you when it’s easy. They are there to take your check. But when something comes up like the Iran situation, they will flip the Constitution of the United States so they can have some sort of conscience for voting for that — it’s outrageous.”

He said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “owes his job to Donald Trump,” noting that it was Trump’s wins that swept the G.O.P. into the Senate majority.

“Wisconsin, Missouri and North Carolina were all dead in the water. They were brought across the goal line by Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell had a terrible track record of picking people to run.”

Bannon also used his Gatestone appearance to remind the attendees of the Trump administration success against ISIS, both on the battlefield and squeezing the financial pipeline that supports terrorism.

“We crushed the Caliphate of ISIS ... in 2014, the ISIS Caliphate was eight million people. It had oil fields, it had wheat fields, it had taxation, and was recruiting actively in Europe and recruiting actively in the United States. He has physically destroyed the Caliphate. If you listen to the morning talk shows, you would think that all President Trump is doing is just following Obama’s plan. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. He told General Mattis, not a war of attrition, I want a war of annihilation. I want to physically destroy the Caliphate in Mosul, in Raqqa and other cities. He’s done that, and I don’t think he’s gotten the credit.”

“The region is starting to clean up the element in the region that works with, supports and finances exporting radical Islamic terrorism to Western Europe and the United States.”

He also warned that the U.S. has to face Iranian expansion in the Middle East.

Fox News' Ben Evansky contributed to this report.