Former Trump administration adviser Steve Bannon railed against former vice president Mike Pence on Wednesday after the latter defended the FBI from attacks and criticisms in response to the FBI executing a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.
Mr Bannon made the remarks on his War Room: Pandemic podcast. On Wednesday, Mr Pence admonished conservatives and told them not to attack the FBI. Mr Pence also criticised the Justice Department for the search of former president Donald Trump’s home and said it was politically motivated.
“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans, we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision he made without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” he said at St Anselm College in New Hampshire, where many would-be presidential candidates visit to test a potential White House run.
“The Republican Party is the party of law and order,” he said. “Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”
But Mr Bannon objected to the former vice president’s words.
“Just even the sight of you bugs me,” he said. “Just a disgusting coward. Of course, we’re the party of law and order, right. But this is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a police state. And you don’t have the guts to stand up to it.”
Mr Bannon then said that there was no comparison between calls to defund the police and calls to defund the FBI.
“We’re calling for defunding the police state, and that is what the FBI has become,” he said. Mr Bannon said he hadn’t seen how the FBI treated people like former Trump administration official Peter Navarro.
“Because you’re a coward,” he said. “And notice that didn’t get a big applause line either.”
In response, Mr Bannon said “Go ask mother,” based on reports that Mr Pence calls his wife “mother”.