Bannon says viral 'hell' quote preceding Capitol riot was about Pence
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon denied giving an ominous premonition of the Jan. 6 Capitol siege after a quote of his went viral on Thursday.
When he said, "All hell is going to break loose" on Jan. 5, the day before the riot, Bannon insisted he was referring to the far-fetched notion of former Vice President Mike Pence rejecting the 2020 election results as he presided over the certification process in Congress.
"I'm trending on Twitter now because I said, 'All hell is going to break loose.' What I was talking about was Pence. Call the play, run the play. Pence was going to send it back to Arizona. Send it back to Georgia. Send it back to Pennsylvania. And let the Senates at that time, on the 6th of January, start to ... That was 'all hell is going to break lose' because Democrats were going to go crazy. That didn't happen because Mike Pence blinked," he said on his podcast show War Room .
Bannon's quote came from an episode of War Room , following clarification that Sen. Chuck Grassley would preside over the certification of the election vote instead of Pence only if the vice president skipped or left the ceremony, as opposed to his absence being a sure thing.
"All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s gonna be moving. It’s gonna be quick," said Bannon, who had then-Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a guest on his show that day.
Pence did not try to send the results back to certain states former President Donald Trump lost in November. In fact, he sent a letter to Congress saying he did not have the power to reject Electoral College votes, dealing a further blow to Trump’s increasingly futile hopes to deny victory to then-President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., telling supporters , "We will stop the steal," among other things, ahead of hundreds of people storming the Capitol, disrupting the certification process. The former president was impeached by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection before being acquitted by the Senate.
As the House's Jan. 6 commission gets underway this week, some pointed to Bannon's "all hell is going to break loose" comments as evidence that implicates Trump having foreknowledge of the siege.
"If Bannon knew, so did Trump," tweeted Harvard constitutional law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe.
Pence, who was threatened by some of the rioters , said in a speech in June that he and Trump "have spoken many times since we left office." However, he acknowledged, "I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day. But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years."
Bannon served on Trump's 2016 campaign and in the White House for much of 2017. He remains a vocal supporter of Trump, who issued a pardon in the final hours of his presidency to his former adviser as he faced criminal charges for his role in an alleged “We Build the Wall” scam that raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting donors.