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Bannon: Trump will be vindicated on claim of 2016 voter fraud in NH

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

November 09. 2017 10:22PM
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon looks on before President Donald Trump makes a statement during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 1 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

MANCHESTER — Conservative firebrand and ex-White House strategist Steve Bannon remains convinced President Donald Trump only lost New Hampshire because invalid voters with out-of-state driver's licenses delivered the state's four electoral votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Bannon told a very supportive crowd Thursday night that the Election Integrity Commission will ultimately confirm Clinton's narrow margin of victory was improper.

"I think the people of New Hampshire deserve to understand what happened that day," Bannon said.

"I don't care if you are a Clinton supporter or a Trump supporter. You can't play games like that."

The New Hampshire Democratic Party put out a statement noting Secretary of State Bill Gardner has refuted claims that voter fraud influenced the 2016 outcome here.

"Everyone worth listening to in New Hampshire and across America debunked this," the state party responded.

Meanwhile, Bannon insisted the mainstream media and the national Democratic Party is in lockstep trying to nullify Trump's victory with several Capitol Hill investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

"We had a very hard time colluding with the RNC in the state of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire was no different," Bannon quipped, referring to the GOP party organizations in key states.

"(Democratic Senator) Mark Warner is running for President in 2020. I kind of have a problem with him running the intelligence committee with subpoena power. We are going to bring this to a close; this is not acceptable."

Bannon, 63, served as the White House chief strategist for seven months until he stepped down to return as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the conservative, online news source. Bannon has aggressively lashed out at the Senate Republican leadership and vowed to recruit primary challengers to Senate GOP incumbents who don't support Trump's agenda.

Bannon said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell owes his job to Trump beating Clinton in key states and delivering GOP Senate victories.

He noted since starting his recuitment effort, McConnell has started acting more favorably toward Trump's policies.

"We need to have folks like you hold these people accountable," Bannon said.

And he warned if Congress doesn't get things done, the GOP could lose badly in the midterm elections.

"If we can't put this coaliton together ... 18 is not going to be pretty. It can be tremendous," Bannon said.

Conservatives and establishment Republicans must recognize there is fundamentally more that unites than divides them, he added.

"We have to put our differences aside and realize we aren't going to get everything," Bannon said.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of Windham, left, introduced Steve Bannon at Thursday night's event. (KEVIN LANDRIGAN/UNION LEADER via TWITTER)

The first third of Bannon's 45-minute speech was a joyous victory lap of the 2016 campaign.

Bannon noted that Thursday was the one-year anniversary of Trump's win because he wasn't declared the winner until 2:10 the morning after Election Day.

Bannon spoke at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, the same site where Trump had his party after an overwhelming win in the first-in-the-nation primary back in February 2016.

"This place has been very good to us," said Corey Lewandowski of Windham, Trump's former campaign manager, who introduced Bannon at the event.

Lewandowski said it's critical the GOP-led Congress delivers on Trump's agenda if they want to avoid defeats in the midterm elections.

"Angry voters come out against the incumbent and its party," Lewandowski said. "Steve's job is to help the President to ensure that people are held accountable and that's about getting tax reform, getting an infrastructure bill, building a wall."

Former State Rep. Chris Ager of Merrimack said he was struck by how personable and warm Bannon was during a private reception prior to his speech.

"He has a television or media persona that comes across as pretty harsh but that's not who he really is and that surprised me," Ager said.

"I'm in both Republican camps; I'm a Trump supporter but also an establishment Republican and I think it's Steve Bannon's mission really to try and bring the two together behind some common principles and goals."

Former State Rep. John Potucek of Derry said Bannon's call to arms will encourage more conservatives to run here in 2018.

"To me this is really the kickoff of the 2018 campaign and I can't think of someone better suited to deliver the message for President Trump," Potucek said.

The conservative 603 Alliance sponsored the dinner, which was Bannon's first visit to the state since the 2016 presidential election.

Tickets for the event started at $150 per person with VIP admission at $250.

Those who wanted to attend a private reception with Bannon prior to his speech paid $750 apiece.

Prior to the dinner, the left-wing, Granite State Progress organized protestors holding signs outside the event. Other groups involved in the protest were the N.H Young Democrats, America Votes and the Seacoast Resistance.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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