Steve Bannon days before the 2020 election predicted 'there is essentially gonna be a riot,' but thought it would be 'antifa' leading the charge, according to leaked audio

Steve Bannon court sign
Steve Bannon court sign  
  • Steve Bannon in October 2020 predicted there would be a "riot" in the aftermath of the election.

  • Mother Jones this week published a transcript of leaked audio in which Bannon mused about violence.

  • Bannon said he believed it would be "antifa" who rioted - something that never happened.

Just days before the 2020 election, Steve Bannon predicted the race would spark political violence, according to leaked audio obtained by Mother Jones. But the former Trump aide in his prognostication misidentified the eventual culprits who would go on to lead the most notorious post-US election riot.

The audio clip, recorded during a meeting between Bannon and his associates on October 31, 2020, was obtained by Mother Jones earlier this year. The nearly-hour long recording captured Bannon accurately anticipating Trump's election-night strategy in which he hastily declared himself the winner, despite ongoing election counts across the country.

"What Trump's gonna do, is just declare victory. Right? He's gonna declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner," Bannon said in the clip, laughing. "He's just gonna say he's a winner."

Mother Jones this week published a full transcript of the recording, revealing that Bannon during the meeting made another partially-accurate prediction ahead of the election.

"Remember, this is gonna be a very crazy night," Bannon said, talking about election night, according to Mother Jones. "There's essentially gonna be a riot down by your hotel. That's where all the antifa guys are coming."

The hotel Bannon referenced was apparently located near the Treasury Department and White House.

"They think there's gonna be 20 or 25,000 antifa will surround the White House, particularly if Trump is leaving," Bannon said, not clarifying who "they" referred to.

Antifa, short for "antifascist," is a a leaderless, non-hierarchical organization that has existed for decades. Trump during his presidency frequently drummed up baseless conspiracy theories about far-left extremists.

Bannon's prediction, while eerily accurate in its evaluation of the country's apparent propensity for violence in the aftermath of the election, ultimately missed the mark: It would not be left-wing radicals who brought political violence to DC, but Trump supporters, who in an effort to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's win, laid siege to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Steve Bannon, meanwhile, was found guilty last month of criminal contempt of Congress in connection with his refusal to cooperate with the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. He is set to be sentenced on October 21.

An attorney for Bannon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.


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