Chief Strategist Steve Bannon Labels Media 'Opposition Party,' Says it 'Should Keep Its Mouth Shut'

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, sat down with Charlie Rose for a "60 Minutes" interview. Win McNamee/Getty

President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon has labelled the media the "opposition party" in an interview reported in The New York Times.

The senior counselor said on Wednesday that the press should "keep its mouth shut and listen for a while," according to the newspaper.

The administration's rhetoric against the media has escalated since the president's inauguration, with the press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump criticizing the media relation to reports of low inauguration crowd estimates. The White House has since vowed to fight newsrooms "tooth and nail" over what it sees as unfair attacks, particularly after Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway used the expression "alternative facts" regarding Spicer's briefing on the inauguration.

On his first full day as president, Trump said he had a "running war" with the "dishonest media" and the last time he faced gathered news organizations he criticized press integrity; blasting CNN as "fake news" and dismissing Buzzfeed as a "failing pile of garbage."

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile," Bannon said Thursday. "I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don't understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States."