Fauci rejects Bannon calling threats a metaphor: ‘That’s nonsense’

Former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci hit back at Steve Bannon on Sunday for saying that his past comments directed at Fauci were a “metaphor.”

Fauci, in a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” was asked about Bannon’s earlier remarks. The former Trump adviser argued that his past comments suggesting that Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded were a metaphor.

Fauci pushed back on Bannon, saying some people could act on comments like that.

“Yeah, that’s nonsense, ‘figure of speech.’ Words matter, and he thinks it’s figure of speech. And then you have maybe one of out 500 out there who’s a wacko, who doesn’t think it’s a figure of speech, and thinks it’s a mandate to go ahead and do something,” Fauci said.

“And so, these people that say they can say anything they want but it’s a figure of speech, don’t buy that. That’s nonsense. Words matter,” Fauci added.

Bannon, a one-time strategist to former President Trump, has been ordered to report to prison by July 1 over his contempt of Congress charges. In an earlier interview on “This Week,” Bannon defended himself over his past remarks calling for Wray’s and Fauci’s heads to be on pikes.

“In this town, a thousand times a day, people go, ‘We got to put their heads on pike. We have put his head on a pike.’ It was a metaphor,” Bannon said.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl noted that Bannon made those comments when Fauci and Wray were “facing death threats.”

“It’s a total metaphor. Anybody understands that. That’s your — by the way, they banned us I think on Twitter. They banned us on Facebook for that. And guess what? The show got even bigger,” Bannon responded.

Karl was referring to 2020 comments made by Bannon on his “War Room” podcast.

“I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the program or you’re gone,” Bannon said at the time.

Facebook did not remove Bannon’s account at the time but removed the video of the comments. Twitter, the social media platform now known as X, suspended his podcast account at the time.

Fauci has previously opened up about the death threats he faced while leading the White House’s COVID-19 response. He choked up while talking about threats made to him and his family during his testimony to a House committee earlier this month.

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