Bannon: If GOP supports moderate immigration bill, Republicans could 'lose 50 seats'

ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl goes one-on-one with the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on "This Week."
10:29 | 06/17/18

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Transcript for Bannon: If GOP supports moderate immigration bill, Republicans could 'lose 50 seats'
By the end of the week, the issue that threatened to consume Washington was closer to home on the southern border. Where the administration has undertaken a zero tolerance immigration policy ring in the separation of children from their pares. It's a picy that has received widespread criticism from Republicans in congre, includg Paul Ryan. And religious leaders on the left and right, including trump supporter, Franklin grah who call separating families disgraceful. On Friday, on seven different occasion, the esident said a W passed by Democrats is to blame for separa families. But that's just not true. As Republican senator Lindsey graham said, the president could endhis family separation with a simple phone call. Let's dig deeper into alof is with the president's former chief strategist Steve Bannon who played a critical role in craft the policies we now see taking shape. You have heard the criticism. Left. Right. A lot of Republicans. Speaker ofhe house Paul Ryan, how do you justify this policy? It's ze tolerance. I don't think you have to justify it. We have a crisis on the southern border. The elites in the city, ties intoorea and evething that took place this week. The elites want to manage situations to un -- un -- bad outcomes. Donald Trump is not ING to do that. He's just not going to kick the can down the road. Whether it's China, tariffs, Korea, southern border. We ran on a pocy. Very simple. Stop mass immigration. Stop illeg immigration. Get our sovereignty back help our workers. He went to a zero tolerance policy. Zero tolerance. It's a crime to come across illegally. And Chilen get separated. I mean, I hateo say it. It's the law. He's enforcing the law. Steve, take a look at this image. We have thismage of a young child, 2 yea old, facing the possibility of being separated from H parents. There were nearly 2,000 children in a similar situation. Jonathan. Jonathan, you have the human traffickers. This is a hugeusiness come up from Central America. You're just going to exacerbate the problem. The president has said -- How is that American? The president says give me borderall for security. Give me a border wall for security and we won't have this problem. He has a zero tolerance situation. He's drawn a line in the sand. I don't think he's going to back off from it. By the way, I don't see the main stream media, the liberal left embracing the angel moms. Ose people permanently parated from their children because ofllegal aliens that came over here and committed cres and killed people. You're very lective. No. No, no. Steve, this is a U.S. Policy. We are taking and separating these young children from their parents at the border. What about the morality of it? The morality is the law. They're crinals when they come across. Okay? Illegally. That's why they're getting serated. If they're calling asylum going to the detention centers, though they are now full, tt is the Obama policy from 2014. So T children are criminals? The children? They are not. The la because of the consent decree means children cannot stay with parents that are being charged th a crime. This is the law. Donald Trump is put in a terrible situation. Why? He's put in a terrible situation because of the political class in the city has not wanted to address th. Donald Trump has gone against his base more than any president to show a profile in courage to say, hey, look, we have to try to wk this out. The ba doesn't support the policies that Donald Trump is trying to push through witpaul Ryan. Donald Trump is leading his ba to that. He's shown leadershiphan bush. He's shown more leadership than Obama. Now, a zero tolerance policy, he's being ganged up on. What about the religious leaders? Evangelicals. People like Franklin graham call it disgraceful. Ardinal Dolan called it unjust. Then you have the pope. Let's listen to this. The pope tweeted this. Children must be able to play, study, and grow in a peaceful environment. Woe to anyone who stifles their joyful impulse to hope. The pope, more an anybody else, has driven the migrant ISIS in Europe. That's why you have a new government in ity. The pope? The catholic church. I have gonafter cardinal Dolan. Cardinal Dolan has attacked me. The catholic church is one of the worst instigators in the open border policy I'm a catholic. I'm missing bass today. I'm missing mass today -- going later with my dad, to be on your sh. The pope has been driving the migrant issue in europe by the way, the pope is not infallible when it comes to public policy. And that's a public policy issue. I want to show you another image. This from general Michael Hayden. The former CIA director. He tweeted this. Obviouy, a -- a photo of auschwitz and birkenau. Saying other governmen have separated mothers and children. What is your response to the former director of the CIA? I don't believe in the deep state. But wel get into that later. I think haydennd all that crow Brennan, this shows you the over-the-top, anti-Trump, anybody but trump. To demonize the president of the United States as a former military officer, absoluty unsatisfactory. It's over the top comparison. This is a law. Okay the president is enforcing a zero tolerance policy. We have to get securiton the southern border. He's not beegiven his wall. Why does the president pretend this is a democratic law? He's not pretending. But Lindsey graham is right. This is what I don't get out you. Who has gone ainst his base to reach out, to reach out with amnesty for DACA? To reach O on everything he's reached out for Democrats over the last six to nine months, with the hardliners in his base saying, we can't do the this. All he's had is S hand smacked away the entire time. They're trying to demonize him. The whole purpose is to demoni Donald Trump. And here is a guy that's shown more file in courage than anybody on this issue. Because you have the hardliners over here, right? The deplorables, and then the open borders crowd. Donald Trump is trying to reach a compromise -- and all the Democrats have done- You call em deplorables? Yea we're proud to be deplorables. We have t-shirts and caps. We're proud to be deplorables. Paul ry has a bill. A couple of bills under conseration. One of them would provide citizenship, a path to citizens for the DACA recipients. Should the president support that? The president is try to show leadership. The president is trying to show that he's the president for the entire Coury. So you don't favor -- I believe that this bill -- the concepts ofhese bills came up from people that thought we would have the tables run on us in November. Is is the best deal they could get. I'm adamantly opposed. I think any pathway to citizenship for DACA ia problem. I don't think the four pillars are include here. You oppose Ving the path to citizenship that would take years for the DACA recipients. Absolutely. Absolutely. Why is the president supporting it? Sfwl the president is trying to show adership? Is it a mistake? Is it a political mistake? I think thawhat we should do -- Lou Dobbs said it the other night. Told the president on national TV, if you go down this path, he believes he'll lose 50 seats in the house in November because you won't generate the base. I believe that this is -- So you think they lose 50 ATS in the house. They lose control of the house if the they support this bill? Lou Dobbs said and I believe him. If you support this bill this is the Y the deplorables don't come out. This is a way to potentially lose 50 seats. Otherwise, we -- I think we run the tables. At the time the people in the ite house thought about this, they thought there would be a blue wave. And this was the best they could do at the time. I strongly recommend that we wait until 2019, right, to address this. I think we'll have a big noveer. And we'll play this from a sition of strength. Another thing. Any bill that doesn't have verify. We have to understand one thing. This illegal immigration. The pele hurt the most are the hispanic and black working CLAs it suppress their wages. Destro their health care. Destroys theirchool systems. The unemployment rate is 3.8%. Is this really about jobs? Yes. Wages are not increasing. We have to have thwages increase. We don't want to continue to have the -- What about the wall? We don't want to contue to have the pressure of unskilled labor in the country that destroys the black and hispanic working class. Once we get thoswages up in oil field servic, agriculture, construction. The guest worker program? The thing to do now is build the southern wall. The Wal-- will Hurd, the Republican texas says this is a fourth century solution. How hard do you ink the president -- A fourtentury solution, it worked in Hungary. For will Hurd, let's talk a Foth century solution first. If thadoesn't work. How hard should the president push for this? No governmt funding until there's a wall? I believe in September, when the appropriations bill comes up. 30th of September. Ve said this for a long time. That's -- I think pple shouldn't go home for the August recess. You want a shdown over the wall? I would shut down the govement over the wall. Absoluly. Let's get it all on the ble. Present trump has a great saying internally when he's talking to you. No games. No games. We have to stop the games in the city. This is all games. A game tdemonize him. This is the curity and sovereignty of the union. We're not helping the people bringing the kids up. On a treacherous journey. You're helping the traffickers that areaking the money. But it's thkids you're separating fm their parents. It's not right for the working class in the country that this is foisted upon. And we have to stop the games in the city. So, yes, I would say, in September, if they have not allocated money for the wall, let's shut down the government. By the way, on November 6th, let the voters decide. Let's turn to the other big,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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