Bannon predicts government shutdown over border wall

Bannon predicts government shutdown over border wall

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon predicts there will be another government shutdown in the near future.

“I believe the government will actually shut down in the run-up to the election,” Bannon told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, referring to the midterm elections in November.

What could trigger it, according to Bannon, is a fight over the southern border wall.

“The wall is not just totemic,” Bannon said. “The wall is absolutely central to his program.” 

President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was perhaps the biggest policy platform during his campaign for the presidency, but it has yet to materialize.

“I believe that what he’s going to do is, as we come up on September 30, if that appropriations bill does not include spending to fully build his wall — not some $1.6 billion for prototypes, I mean to build the southern wall — I believe he will shut down the government,” Bannon added.

Bannon sat down with Zakaria for a full-length interview that aired on CNN Friday at 9 p.m. ET. The interview will air again on Sunday during “Fareed Zakaria GPS” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

Bannon was fired from the White House last year, after having worked on the campaign and in the administration.

In January, CNN reported that the Trump administration had asked for $33 billion to cover the costs of securing the border, and $18 billion of that would go toward the wall, according to Customs and Border Protection documents obtained by CNN that were sent to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Congress is required to appropriate the funds needed to build the wall, but CNN reported in March that Trump had also privately suggested that the wall be built with funds from the US military budget.