Sanders Swats Down GOP ‘Civil War’ Prediction: Bannon Speaks In Extremes

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Huckabee Sanders discussed Hurricane Irma and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that she didn’t agree with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s assessment that the fight over DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, would lead to a “civil war” within the Republican Party. She said of the prediction that Bannon likes to speak in “extreme measures.” 

I’m worried about losing the House now because of this — of — because of DACA,” Bannon told Charlie Rose in an interview aired Sunday night, adding: “If this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013.

Trump instructed the Department of Homeland Security to cease accepting new DACA applications on Sept. 5. The program protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, granting them work permits and allowing access to things like drivers licenses and bank accounts. The President delayed the first expiration of DACA permits for six months, and has called on Congress to “legalize DACA,” though it’s unclear Congress will pass any legislation.

“Steve always likes to speak in kind of — the most extreme measures,” Sanders said at a press briefing Monday, asked about Bannon’s remarks. “I’m not sure that I agree with that.”

But, asked if Trump would sign into law the DREAM Act — whose legislative details echo the DACA program, which former President Barack Obama eventually enacted with an executive action — Sanders said Trump wanted more.

“The President and the administration are looking at responsible immigration reform, and part of that would be part of that process,” Sanders said, referring to the DREAM Act. “But we want to do something that addresses a multitude of issues.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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