WHEN: Today, Wednesday, July 18th
WHERE: CNBC’s “Closing Bell”
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist and Chief Executive Officer of the Trump campaign, live from the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York City on Wednesday, July 18th.
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Please note: The transcript of the full interview will be distributed when available.
BANNON ON MIDTERMS
It’s an up or down vote. The entire Trump package, the tax cut, the economy… I think the Fed is going to say in the second quarter it’s at 4%, I think you could see an economy that grows here at 3.5% to 4% for the year, because of economic nationalism, because of jawboning. That’s why investment is coming back into this country.
BANNON ON RUSSIA MEDDLING
The President’s got a lot at stake in Russia vis a vis China. I think the President has done a terrific job particularly vis a vis all the previous presidents. And I thought press conference was fine. I would like to be a little stronger, maybe about the meddling. At the end of day, and the Democrats are just going to have to embrace this: the meddling is on the margins, right? It’s just not that big a deal.
BANNON ON PUTIN
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: I think he likes Putin. It appears to me he likes Putin.
Steve Bannon: I think he gravitates to personalities that are strong personalities. He likes President Xi, he likes Erdogan, who I think is the most dangerous guy in the world, and I think he’s attracted to Putin because he looks to think people as strong leaders of countries. They’re nationalists. They put their countries first, and they get on with it, and they don’t care what other people think.
Caruso-Cabrera: Does it bother you he’s attracted to those people?
Bannon: No, it doesn’t.
BANNON ON FAMILY SEPARATION
Caruso-Cabrera: You were comfortable with children being separated from their parents?
Bannon: Here’s what I’m comfortable with. A zero tolerance policy. If you come through a port of entry and you have asylum, you’re going to stay together. If you illegally cross, just like a criminal in the United States, if you break the law in the United States, the children have to be separated. They have to be separated. I’m sorry. This is to help.
BANNON ON BITCOIN
Bannon: I think these cryptocurrencies have huge aspect in the future. Obviously, the day, there’s problems about the markets, problems about what it’s used for –
Caruso-Cabrera: What do you like?
Bannon: I like bitcoin.
Caruso-Cabrera: You own it? Do you like Ethereum?
Bannon: I got that. I'm working on a number of – I think 90% of the ICOs have been a disaster. We’re working on some tokens now, utility tokens potentially for the populist movement on a worldwide basis that we're thinking about. They gotta be quality. Too many investors have been blown out by things that aren’t thought through, but they’re the future.
BANNON ON NATO
Donald Trump’s done more than any president of the United States, not to have happy to talk, but to actually try to save NATO, and make it a real alliance, not a protectorate.
BANNON ON BORDER EO
The border: I didn’t like the EO, because I thought that was a walk-back. It’s got to be zero tolerance. He’s doing this to stop these children to be destroyed by the cartels that are bringing them up from Central America. He was right on the border. Okay? I didn’t like that.
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