In a full-throated defense of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, former White House adviser Steve Bannon that, Trump is neither an isolationist nor an Islamophobe and that Trump deserves credit for destroying the Islamic State’s caliphate in the Middle East.
It was Trump who set the mission by writing a line in his inaugural address — ignoring the concerns of some advisers — in which he promised to “eradicate…radical Islamic terrorism,” Bannon said. When he was warned that was too big a promise to make, Trump replied, “This is my obligation to the American people,” Bannon said.
That led to a strategy against ISIS that administration officials looked at as a “war of annihilation” rather than a “war of attrition.”
“That’s what he accomplished,” Bannon said.
Pressed on that conclusion, the former Trump adviser acknowledged that “it was done with allies” and argued the model shows “it’s not going to be America that has to lead” all the time.
Bannon’s remarks, delivered in an interview with former Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani at a Hudson Institute conference, were notably more about Trump and less about his Republican adversaries than recent Bannon speeches.