In a new excerpt from CBS’ upcoming episode of “60 Minutes,” former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon tells Charlie Rose that Chris Christie lost his chance at landing a job in Donald Trump’s cabinet because of how he reacted to the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape. In the video, Trump famously said it’s OK to “grab” women by their genitals if you’re famous.
On what Bannon refers to as “Billy Bush Saturday” — the weekend after the “Access Hollywood” tape was leaked — Trump’s senior advisers congregated to discuss damage control. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, apparently, missed his flight to that meeting.
“I told him, ‘The plane leaves at 11 o’clock in the morning. If you’re on the plane, you’re on the team.’ Didn’t make the plane,” Bannon told Rose.
Bannon explained that he used that meeting as a “litmus test” to see who was really going to stand up for Trump. Trump went around the room, Bannon recalled, asking what should be done, and what percentage he still had of winning.
Reince Priebus, former Chief of Staff and then-RNCchairman, said, according to Bannon, “You have two choices. You either drop out right now, or you lose by the biggest landslide in American political history.”
While Priebus made the meeting and the cabinet, he was one of the many members to be ousted within the first several months of Trump’s presidency. Bannon, on the other hand, told Trump the American people “didn’t care” about his “locker room talk.”
“It’s 100 percent. You have 100 percent probability of winning,” Bannon said he told Trump that day.
“Billy Bush Saturday showed me who really had Donald Trump’s back to play to his better angels. All you had to do, and what he did, was go out and continue to talk to the American people,” Bannon said. “People didn’t care. They knew Donald Trump was just doing locker room talk with a guy. And they dismissed it. It had no lasting impact on the campaign. Yet, if you see the mainstream media that day, it was, literally, he was falling into Dante’s Inferno.”
You can watch the full clip of Rose’s interview with Bannon above, and watch “60 Minutes” on CBS this Sunday.