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Arizona’s Schweikert looks past Trump-Bannon fight to policy work

LISTEN: David Schweikert, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — While a former White House adviser is ruffling feathers in Washington in a controversial new book about President Donald Trump, there is still governing to be done. U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona is paying attention to the policies.

And, admittedly, taking note a little bit to a growing feud between Trump and Steve Bannon.

“My first reaction is ‘Crazy Town,'” Schweikert said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Bannon, the Breitbart News chairman, attacked members of the Trump family in the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” and now lawyers for the president have sent the onetime strategist a cease-and-desist letter.

Trump said in a statement this week that Bannon has “lost his mind” and had nothing to do with the presidency.

“I don’t have an elegant way to say this,” Schweikert said. “… you have someone like Steve Bannon, who politically on the spectrum — his economics are actually fairly hard left, he’s a populist over here and his claim to fame in the last few years is being the editor of a … website that sometimes is just … hyperbolic, but populist, not necessarily conservative.

“Then you have a president who has a conservative agenda but before he got elected he gave more money, more resources to Democrats than Republicans.

“So these are not folks who come from a classical, ideological view of the world. They’re just all over the place.”

Schweikert, known on Capitol Hill as a policy wonk, added: “If you’re pursuing politics … because you have an ego need, you are going to end up doing something stupid. Or you’re going to get your feelings hurt.”

The congressman’s pursuit of politics includes concern for immigration, protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (which is ending) and border security.

“A couple of bipartisan groups are trying to work through what a DACA solution would look like but also tying it to into other parts of the immigration system,” he said.

“Other countries have more of a talent-based system (rather than family sponsorship of an applicant),” he said. Trump proposed a merit-oriented immigration policy last year.

A talent-based policy would “take care of DACA and would offer solutions to visa overstays and a whole series of other issues,” Schweikert said.

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