Steve Bannon Says Ilhan Omar Is 'Anti-American,' Tells The Squad to 'Take a Gut Check of What You're Doing Here'

Steve Bannon defended President Donald Trump's "go back" tweet about the four nonwhite Democratic congresswomen known as The Squad, insisting that it is not racist and that his former boss "has his own house style."

Bannon was Trump's campaign chairman in 2016 and became White House chief strategist before leaving the administration acrimoniously the following year, though the co-founder of hard-right publication Breitbart News says he remains loyal to the president.

"He was making a point," Bannon told BBC Radio 4 of Trump's tweet. "It's not racist. He was making a point, particularly with Congresswoman Omar, what she says is what she says, and we should beat her at the polls. I actually think she helps us because she's so anti-American."

Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and member of The Squad, came to America as a child refugee from Somalia and is now a citizen. Omar says she loves America, but is also critical of aspects of its society and politics, such as institutional racism and its foreign policy.

The other three congresswomen are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. All are citizens of the United States and three were born here.

Yet, following their regular and robust criticism of his administration, Trump tweeted: "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," sparking outrage across not just America, but the world.

"The President of the United States has his own house style, OK," Bannon told the BBC when asked about the tweet, widely seen as straightforwadly racist.

"He's president because of his use of Twitter, and disintermediating the BBC, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times, and going over [their] head and talking to people. He's got his own house style, his vernacular works for him."

He continued: "You've got to put America first. You've got to show your patriotism. If you're a citizen of the United States, and you've had the privilege of serving in Congress, and what you're doing is dogging the United States every day, then you ought to take a gut check of what you're doing here. And Donald Trump's gonna call you out."

Bannon, who is helping far-right populists and nationalists in Europe, said he would never go back to work for Trump at the White House. But the ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker said he is supporting Trump's re-election in 2020 from the outside.

"It's imperative that he's re-elected and I don't need to be in the campaign to do it. Remember, I worked for years on that project, so I'll work years on this, seven days a week, 18 hours a day. And I hope my enemies' heads blow up on that," Bannon told the BBC.

"But here's the thing. Donald Trump's going to be re-elected. It's going to be a brutally tough campaign. This is going to be very nasty, it's going to be very tough. You see how nasty it already is. Donald Trump's going to be re-elected."

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US president's former strategist Steve Bannon addresses during a debate entitled 'Sovereignism vs Europeanism' on the future of Europe and on how western democracies are transforming, at the headquarters of strategic consultancy Comin & Partners on March 25, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images