Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon appeared to question the recent targeted killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike during an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday.
Bannon indicated that the move would hurt Trump’s support among “working-class, middle-class people, particularly people whose sons and daughters actually fight in these wars”, who had backed Trump in 2016 because of his promise to scale back the U.S. role in the Middle East.
Bannon went on to suggest that the Soleimani killing could cause an unnecessary escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran.
“Why was it necessary to kill this guy and to kill him now and to exacerbate the military issues, given the fact that President Trump looks to us as someone who’s not trigger happy?” he said.
“That still has to be explained. I don’t know if it’s the president addressing the nation. I don’t know if it’s the president getting on ‘Fox & Friends.’ But clearly, at some point in time, the president’s got to walk through not just what his logic was, but also where he wants to take this.”
Bannon’s remarks represented a break from several of his closest political allies, including his podcast co-host Raheem Kassam, and former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka, both of whom were vocal supporters of the strike.