Steve Bannon Says the Democratic Party Is for Sale and 'Oligarch' Michael Bloomberg Is the Buyer

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon narrowed the 2020 presidential race down to "oligarch" billionaire Michael Bloomberg and President Donald Trump.

Speaking on PBS' Firing Line with Margaret Hoover Friday, Bannon said "2020 is going to be the nastiest election in American history" as Bloomberg prepares to "buy" the Democratic Party in an effort to defeat Trump. Bannon referred to the former mayor of New York City as an "oligarch," but defended the president as simply a "real estate developer" and a "TV personality" who rose to the top of politics by appealing to abandoned working-class voters. He also warned that the hundreds of millions of dollars Bloomberg is prepared to spend on data and turning out the vote over the next eight months is placing the country in dangerous hands.

Bannon said the Democratic Party is "absolutely" for sale -- and Bloomberg is the buyer. "I think you're seeing the rise of oligarchs. It's Bloomberg versus Trump," he said of the 2020 election.

"President Trump is going to win. But President Trump every day is going to be a struggle just for the simple reason that no one's ever had an oligarch that opposed the sitting president," Bannon said. "This is going to be a populist versus an oligarch."

But PBS host Hoover pushed back: "Can I just challenge the 'oligarch' metaphor for a sec? I mean, we look around the world and there are a lot of people who have made their money because they've been in bed with the cronyism of a government that has enriched them. Michael Bloomberg is a capitalist that has made his money not because the United States of America or any leader of a government has decided that he deserves to have billions of dollars."

"That's true," Bannon conceded.

"He earned it himself. Is it fair to call him an oligarch?" Hoover replied, noting Bloomberg has tens of billions of more dollars in net worth than Trump.

"Yes, absolutely," said Bannon. "Because now, look, we've had wealthy people throughout history. He's buying the Democratic Party."

When asked if Trump is an oligarch, Bannon said no. "Trump's a real estate developer and a TV personality. He's a wealthy guy, he's worth what? Seven or eight billion dollars. That's not an oligarch."

"Did Michael Bloomberg come by his billions honestly, in your view?" Hoover pressed.

"Oh absolutely, all of his money came about honestly. Michael Bloomberg is not a corrupt guy."

"Do you think the Democratic Party is really for sale?" Hoover then asked. "It's 100 percent for sale," Bannon said.

Last week on Real Time With Bill Maher, Bannon said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders -- the current front-runner in the presidential primary race -- "has been screwed by the Democratic Party." He argued that the Democratic establishment's collusion against the Sanders campaign ensures Trump will "run the tables" in the 2020 general election later this year.

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Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon narrowed the 2020 presidential race down to "oligarch" billionaire Michael Bloomberg and President Donald Trump. Screenshot: PBS | Twitter