Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, told the New York Times Thursday that the "opposition party" — meaning, the media — should "keep its mouth shut" about the new administration.
"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while," he told the newspaper. "I want you to quote this: The media here is the opposition party. They don't understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States."
Bannon, a former executive at the right-wing Breitbart News, has long boasted an adversarial relationship with the press. In November, he said the media "is the ultimate symbol of what's wrong with this country," adding that reporters have "no f***ing idea what is going on."
And it doesn't appear he's changed his opinion on the press corps since then.
"The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong," Bannon told the Times of the media's election coverage, adding that the Nov. 8 results were "a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there."
"The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign," the top Trump counselor continued. "Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: They were outright activists of the Clinton campaign."
Bannon reportedly reached out to the Times to discuss White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who made headlines over the weekend for claiming that Trump had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period."
In the wake of the controversial remark, fellow W.H. adviser Kellyanne Conway came to Spicer's defense during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," telling host Chuck Todd that the press secretary was quoting "alternative facts."
"You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts," Conway told Todd after he challenged Spicer's inaugural audience claim.
The NBC host responded: "Alternative facts aren’t facts, they are falsehoods."
On Monday, Spicer tried to clean up the mess during the new White House's first official press briefing. He told reporters, "If you lose the respect and trust of the press corps, you've got nothing." But Bannon, apparently, doesn't see it the same way.
He said the media — not Spicer — are the ones with the problem.
"We think that's a badge of honor," he told the Times, adding, "The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work."
Bannon concluded by telling the Times that journalists "have no power" and were "humiliated" by Trump's ascension to the presidency.