The letter came as Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, granted an extraordinary interview with Robert Kuttner of the liberal magazine The American Prospect. In an article titled "Steve Bannon, Unrepentant," the former Breitbart News editor declared there is "no military solution" to the North Korean nuclear crisis, and said the U.S. should engage in an "economic war" with China. Bannon said he was looking to neutralize rivals in the Departments of Defense, State and Treasury, and criticized the white supremacists behind last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, calling them "ethnonationalists" and "a collection of clowns." Bannon is the former head of Breitbart News, a site that’s been described as an online haven for white nationalists. It’s not clear whether Bannon knew his comments were on the record. The news site Axios reported one unnamed White House staffer said Bannon’s comments left him infuriated, saying, "I’ll put this in terms he’ll understand: This is DEFCON 1-level bad."