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White House Adviser Steve Bannon Says Media Should 'Keep Its Mouth Shut'

"I want you to quote this: The media here is the opposition party. They don't understand this country."
January 26, 2017, 9:21pm
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In a phone interview with the New York Times, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's chief strategist, echoed sentiments of his boss's "running war" with the media and allegedly lashed out at the press, calling journalists the "opposition party."

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile," Bannon said. "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."

Bannon, who used to run the right-wing website Breitbart News before becoming one of Trump's most influential advisors, reportedly reached out to the Times to talk about Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary. Spicer—who has said that "if you lose the respect and trust of the press corps, you've got nothing"—has come under fire this week for touting "alternative facts" about the size of Trump's inauguration crowd and defending the president's debunked voter-fraud claims.

When asked if he thought Spicer had lost some of his credibility with the media, Bannon apparently said, "We think that's a badge of honor. 'Questioning his integrity'—are you kidding me? The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work."