Bannon Says Trump Doesn't Have to `Justify' Border Separations

(Bloomberg) -- Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said Sunday that President Donald Trump doesn’t have to “justify” his highly criticized policy of separating parents who enter the U.S. illegally on the southern border with Mexico from their children.

“He went to a zero-tolerance policy,” Bannon said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s a crime to come across illegally, and children get separated.”’

Bannon, who left the White House in August, said he didn’t think Trump was “going to back off from” the separations. Despite initiating the policy, the president has lamented it several times, and blamed it on Democrats.

Separately, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “nobody likes” the separation of migrant children from their parents, but repeated Trump’s view that the burden for changing it is on Democrats.

Bannon also predicted that Republicans would lose seats in the November elections if they passed a compromise bill that would allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. He recommended that the Republican Party move to shut down the federal government in coming months to secure funding for a border wall.

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