Steve Bannon criticizes Mitt Romney for not serving in Vietnam, calls Sen. Jeff Flake a ‘total embarrassment’

Posted at 10:14 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 10:52:40-05

Steve Bannon bashed establishment Republicans in a fiery speech Tuesday night while stumping for controversial Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama.

Bannon, speaking in Fairhope, Alabama, called out Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, for his $100 donation to Democratic candidate Doug Jones and criticized Mitt Romney for not serving in Vietnam.

Flake had tweeted about his donation to Jones' Senate bid earlier Tuesday, writing "Country over Party," and said he thought President Donald Trump was "wrong" in his endorsement of Moore.

In response to Flake's donation, Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, called Flake a "total embarrassment."

"Did he sign a check today, $100 to Jones? What'd he say? Put country ahead of party? Come on, brother -- if you're going to write a check, write a check," Bannon quipped. "Right? Don't give the man $100. Are you kidding me?"

Both Flake and Romney have voiced opposition to Moore, who has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old, sexually assaulting a 16-year-old and pursuing relationships with teenage girls while he was in his 30s.

Moore, now 70, has seemingly divided the Republican Party, with several members of Congress openly opposing the candidate amid the barrage of accusations, but Trump reaffirmed his full support of Moore on Monday.

Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, spoke out against Moore in a tweet Monday, writing, "Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity," referencing the women who have come forward with allegations against Moore.

Flake reiterated Romney's statement Monday night on Twitter.

".@MittRomney is right. A Roy Moore victory is no victory for the GOP and the nation," Flake tweeted, linking to Romney's tweet.

Bannon fired back at Romney's comment on honor and integrity and criticized the former Massachusetts governor for not serving in Vietnam, saying Romney had "hid behind" his Mormon religion.

"And by the way, Mitt, while we're on the subject of honor and integrity, you avoided service, brother," Bannon said. "Mitt, here's how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that -- but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam."

Gov. Gary Herbert defended Romney in a tweet Wednesday.

The Alabama special election is a week away, on December 12. Trump is scheduled to hold a rally just 25 miles from the Alabama border in Pensacola, Florida, later this week.