Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon did not equivocate in his condemnation of establishment Republicans during a campaign event Tuesday evening for a challenger to Arizona incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake: "They think you're a group of morons."
Bannon, along with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, headlined the event for Senate candidate Kelli Ward in Scottsdale, Ariz. Emboldened by the victory of his preferred candidate, Roy Moore, in the Alabama Republican special election run-off last month, Bannon continued his "war" on the Republican establishment.
"These people hold you in total contempt," he said. "When they attack a Donald Trump and a Dr. Kelli Ward, it's not Donald Trump and Kelli Ward that they're trying to shut up. It's you they're trying to shut up."
Much of Bannon's ire was directed at Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, as well as those Senate Republicans, like Flake, who have been critical of the president.
"If you saw how they try to rip him apart every day, how they are trying to destroy him every day," Bannon said. "And yes, I'm talking about Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans."
As Bannon has ratcheted up his rhetoric and plans to back several challengers to GOP senators seeking re-election, Trump, during a news conference with McConnell earlier this week, indicated that he would step in to convince Bannon to back off.
"Some of the people that he may be looking at, I'm going to see if we talk him out of that, because frankly, they're great people," Trump said Monday.
However, in regards to the Arizona Senate race, Trump tweeted back in August that he was glad that Ward was running, calling Flake "toxic."