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Possible Trump CIA pick threatens to “come after” media critics “criminally”

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Far-right Trump allies Steve Bannon and Kash Patel said that the former president would target “conspirators” in the media if he wins another term in office, HuffPost reports. During an interview on his “War Room” podcast, Bannon predicted that Patel would be Donald Trump’s CIA director and said that another term for the GOP frontrunner would see the so-called deep state “taken apart, brick by brick,” claiming that people who did “evil deeds” would be held to account and prosecuted.

“We will follow the facts and the law,” replied Patel, a former Pentagon chief of staff who worked for the Justice Department. “We will go out and find the conspirators — not just in government, but in the media. Yes, we’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens, who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.” Patel continued, “We’re going to come after you. Whether it’s criminally or civilly, we’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice, and Steve, this is why they hate us. This is why we’re tyrannical. This is why we’re dictators.” Earlier in the episode, Bannon gave an ultimatum to the media, asserting that he was “absolutely dead serious” in his comments and blaming those in the “deep state” for ruining the country.

Trump himself vowed “retribution” earlier this year if reelected and has built his 2024 campaign on anger around his 2020 electoral defeat. The former president declined to say he would abuse power or retaliate against his political opponents in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday, adding that he planned to act like a “dictator” on the first day of a new term. The Associated Press reported later on Tuesday that the Trump campaign said Bannon and Patel’s remarks “have nothing to do” with Trump’s aspirations.

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