President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, said the upcoming November midterm elections an “up or down vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump.”
“This is Trump's first [re-election]," Bannon told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on “This Week” Sunday. "It's going to be this November.”
Bannon seemed to be referring to the fact that if Democrats were to retake a simple majority in the House of Representatives in November, they could potentially push for a vote on whether to impeach Trump. Even if the House were to vote on and approve impeachment, a two-thirds super-majority of senators would have to convict the president for him to be removed from office, which has never occurred in U.S. history.
Democratic leaders in Congress are not openly casting the midterm elections as a decision on impeachment.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN in May that impeachment is “divisive” and “not ... a policy agenda.”
Bannon said the secret to GOP victories in November is for candidates to act as if Trump is "on the ballot."
"It's very simple, November 6th, up or down vote ... up or down vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump. I'll tell you what, you get to then look at ... the growth of the economy," he said.
But Bannon also said on "This Week" that Republicans should not run on their recently-passed tax cut if they want to win the midterms.
“The Republican establishment has spent all this money trying to get people to love the tax cut," said Bannon, adding that a top GOP donor, Charles Koch, told Republican House members, 'Hey, guys, if you run on that [tax cut] you're going to lose 40 seats.'”
Karl asked Bannon if that means Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker is "right ... that the Republican Party has become the cult of Donald Trump?"
"It's almost becoming a cultish thing, isn't it?" Corker said to reporters recently about GOP colleagues who, Corker said, didn't want to take a position contrary to Trump on tariffs. "It's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be, purportedly, of the same party."
Bannon on "This Week" disputed the notion of a cultish following of the president. “No [the Republican Party] is absolutely not a cult of Donald Trump,” he said.