Former senior White House adviser Steve Bannon says he is opposed to President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and ask Congress to come up with a solution.
“Look, what he did on DACA the other day. Okay, I don't agree with that DACA decision, but I understand how he struggled with it, I understand how he's giving the possibility of a legislative thing,” Bannon told Charlie Rose of CBS News in an interview that aired Thursday.
DACA, implemented under former President Barack Obama, gives illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age a reprieve from deportation. Trump is now saying he is giving Congress six months to take up the issue.
Liberals have expressed worries that the decision could lead to deportation of young illegal immigrants. But some immigration hawks, like Iowa Rep. Steve King, have expressed concern it will lead to Congress passing “amnesty.”
“Trust me, the guys in the far right, the guys on the conservative side are not happy with this,” said Bannon, who advocates for tough restrictions on illegal immigration.
The former counselor to Trump left his White House job in August and returned to lead the populist-conservative website Breitbart News.
Bannon, a Catholic, also criticized the Catholic Church for its public statements on illegal immigration. “The Catholic Church has been terrible about this,” he said.
Bannon said he respects “the bishops on doctrine” but “this is not about doctrine. This is about the sovereignty of a nation.”
“And in that regard, they're just another guy with an opinion,” he said.
Reacting to his media image, Bannon referred to himself as a “street fighter,” saying “that's why Donald Trump and I get along so well.”
He also took aim at former rival White House staffers, including Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, who expressed displeasure with Trump’s reaction to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville several weeks ago.
“If you're going to break with him, resign. The stuff that was leaked out that week by certain members of the White House I thought was unacceptable,” Bannon said. “If you find it unacceptable, you should resign.”
After Bannon specifically named Cohn, Rose asked Bannon if he thinks Cohn should have resigned.
“Absolutely,” he said.