Bannon’s stunningly irresponsible words

Updated 2:10 PM EDT, Fri August 18, 2017
Strategist Steve Bannon waits while US President Donald Trump arrives at Lynchburg Regional Airport May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Strategist Steve Bannon waits while US President Donald Trump arrives at Lynchburg Regional Airport May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:49
Writer: Interview highlights Bannon's arrogance
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:49
Bannon predicts government shutdown over wall
exp GPS 0603 BANNON ON ROSENSTEIN_00003117.jpg
exp GPS 0603 BANNON ON ROSENSTEIN_00003117.jpg
Now playing
00:58
Steve Bannon's advice to Trump on Rosenstein
steve bannon cambridge analytica facebook data bash intv_00002202.jpg
CNN
steve bannon cambridge analytica facebook data bash intv_00002202.jpg
Now playing
00:42
Bannon: I don't remember buying Facebook data
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (AFP OUT) (L to R) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus look on as President Donald Trump meets with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (AFP OUT) (L to R) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus look on as President Donald Trump meets with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:46
WaPo: Bannon aiming to cripple Mueller probe
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:08
Bannon says MLK Jr. would be 'proud' of Trump
Steve Bannon
AFP
Steve Bannon
Now playing
01:20
Bannon: Wear 'racist' label as badge of honor
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. 
Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:20
Trump slams Bannon: He lost his mind
Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC, speaks during a campaign rally for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, not pictured, in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior member of Congress, strongly condemned Moore on Sunday as the contentious campaign for the state's open senate seat nears its end. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC, speaks during a campaign rally for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, not pictured, in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior member of Congress, strongly condemned Moore on Sunday as the contentious campaign for the state's open senate seat nears its end. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Now playing
01:23
What Bannon thinks will take down Trump
CNN
Now playing
01:22
The ups and downs of the Bannon insurgency
Now playing
02:59
Mueller set to question Bannon on Flynn, Comey
Now playing
01:35
Toobin: Bannon had a real 'ax to grind'
steve bannon moore trump washington post bash lemon ctn_00000827.jpg
WMUR
steve bannon moore trump washington post bash lemon ctn_00000827.jpg
Now playing
00:51
Bannon compares Moore, Trump WaPo stories
Steve Bannon addresses the California GOP 2017 Convention in Anaheim, California on October 20, 2017.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Steve Bannon addresses the California GOP 2017 Convention in Anaheim, California on October 20, 2017.
Now playing
01:45
Bannon tells Trump: Fight back against Mueller
Steve Bannon takes the stage at a Roy Moore rally on December 5, 2017.
CNN
Steve Bannon takes the stage at a Roy Moore rally on December 5, 2017.
Now playing
00:51
Steve Bannon comments on Roy Moore accusations
CBS
Now playing
00:57
Bannon: Comey firing was a mistake

Story highlights

Errol Louis: Bannon interview with American Prospect reveals disturbing political machinations that have dire real world impact

Louis: Democrats should be certain to recognize the identity politics game that Trump and Bannon are playing

Editor’s Note: Errol Louis is the host of “Inside City Hall,” a nightly political show on NY1, a New York all-news channel. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

(CNN) —  

Everything we know about Steve Bannon’s interview with Robert Kuttner, editor of the left-leaning American Prospect magazine, suggests that Bannon – who was forced from his post as chief strategist to President Donald Trump Friday– was being entirely candid about his political thinking in an unsolicited phone call to Kuttner.

That’s a troubling thought. Bannon described a positive political advantage for the White House following Trump’s “both sides” statements that indirectly supported the white supremacists responsible for the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Ethno-nationalism – it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more. These guys are a collection of clowns,” Bannon told Kuttner – a cynical dismissal from the former editor of Breitbart news who last year gleefully described his media organization as “the platform for the alt-right,” that same “fringe” movement.