On Episode 90 of War Room: Impeachment, host Stephen K. Bannon outlines the entrenched power of the national security ‘apparatus’ which ‘has a mind of its own.’

He begins by describing how the impeachment inquiry has put the apparatus on full display: “I’m not a deep state guy. I say it’s in your face, and it is in your face in this impeachment process. What Trump understands is there’s something quite deep going on here that he is going to have to put forth and bring out for all presidents. […] If you think the [apparatus] is going to be any different for a Bernie Sanders or AOC presidency you are dead wrong.”

He notes how the apparatus transcends a specific political party; it’s an ‘attitude’: “It’s not just the Republican Party. It’s not about political agenda, and it’s not actually pro war. It’s something deeper than that. It’s an attitude that America is now an imperial power. The subtext is we’re now an imperial power.” 

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Bannon adds: “However, you have to understand that we’re not a global, expeditionary, humanitarian task force. That is what the mindset of the apparatus is, and it’s cheered on mindlessly by the Joe Scarborough’s of the world and John McCain’s of the world. Trump is trying to get to the heart of this where it’s in the vital national security interest of the United States. It’ll be in the national security interest of our allies.”

Bannon describes the relationship between the apparatus and the Never Trump movement: “This ties to the 3-5%, the Lincoln Project, the [Republicans for the] Rule of Law with Bill Kristol, even Scaramucci. Remember, the Never Trump movement came out of the national security apparatus of the Republican party. Why? They thought it was inconceivable that Donald Trump could be Commander in Chief of the United States. He didn’t know anything. He didn’t have the character.”

He also emphasizes how the Afghanistan Papers underscore the power of the apparatus to the detriment of President Trump’s ability to implement policy: “It’s the one thing the Afghanistan Papers show. […]. It’s the thing I thought was missing most from the Jaffe and Greg Miller piece who I think are very good journalists, and I was in that piece. What they miss is that how can you say Bannon wanted these mass firings and all this stuff that Trump’s a crazy man. It occurred at the same time with the same apparatus of the Afghanistan papers.”