White House senior adviser Steve Bannon declared Thursday "it's going to get worse" for President Donald Trump as he "continues to press his agenda and as economic conditions get better" — infuriating liberals and the "opposition" media that have stood against him since he announced his candidacy nearly two years ago.
"As things get better, they're going to fight," Bannon said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor outside Washington. "If you think they're going to give the country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken."
Bannon's comments, on a panel with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, marked his first to a public gathering since joining Trump's White House quest last year from Breitbart News.
"Every day, every day it is going to be a fight — and all the opportunities he had to waiver off this — every day, he tells Reince and I that 'I promised this to the American people and I'm going to deliver on this.'"
The crowd cheered.
Vice President Mike Pence addresses CPAC later Thursday, while President Trump speaks Friday.
Other Thursday speakers included Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
In a conversation moderated by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors CPAC, Bannon and Priebus laid bare President Trump's agenda, slammed the mainstream press and dismissed reports of chaos within the administration.
Known as a tough talker and for his bluntness, Bannon said President Trump's "immediate" withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership was "one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history."
The move "let our sovereignty come back to the nation," he said. "The mainstream media doesn't get this.
"We are in consultation with The Hill — and people are starting to think that amazing bilateral trading relationships with people that will re-position America in the world as a fair-trading nation will start to bring high-valued manufacturing jobs back to the United States of America."
Bannon added, under Trump's first two executive orders, the travel ban and creating a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, "the rule of law will exist when you talk about sovereignty and when you talk about immigration."
He said other immediate successes of the Trump White House include the plan to be unveiled by his Defense Secretary James Mattis on defeating the Islamic State, and the order that cuts excessive business regulation.
"Every business leader knows that the problem is not just taxes, but it is also the regulation," Bannon said.
"That is the way the progressive left runs. They can't get it passed, so they'll put it in a regulation — and that's all going to be deconstructed."
In bashing reports of a rift between he and Bannon, Priebus said "I love how many collars he wears with the same look.
"We're different, but we are similar," he added. "He is very determined in making sure that every day, the promises that President Trump has made that we are working on.
"Steve is very consistent and loyal to the agenda and a presence that is very important to have in the White House."
He also called Bannon "a very dear friend and someone that I work with every second of the day — and actually. I cherish his friendship."
For his part, Bannon admitted "I can run a little hot on occasions — and Reince is indefatigable.
"Low-key and determined. The only way this thing works is that Reince is very steady.
"Reince is always kind of steady," he added. "Other people are running, but he's steady and he's got one of the toughest jobs in my life: To make it run every day."
Bannon declared Trump's "nationalistic economic agenda" was creating "a new political order — and it's still being formed."
In light of this effort and the resistance from liberals and the media, Bannon told the CPAC crowd: "We're at the top of the first inning of this, and it's going to take just as much fight, focus and determination.
"The one thing I would like to leave you guys today with is we want you to have our back."
He also asked attendees to "hold us accountable.
"Hold us accountable to what we promised. Hold us accountable for delivering what we promised."
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