WASHINGTON – President Trump’s former chief strategist predicted a “nasty” year ahead for the commander-in-chief who faces an onslaught of political and legal troubles.

“I think that 2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since before the Civil War,” Steve Bannon told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And I include Vietnam in that, I think we’re in … for a very nasty 2019.”

Bannon, who was ousted from the White House in 2017, cited the upcoming release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, the ongoing investigation into Trump’s inaugural committee and House Democrats’ congressional oversight as upcoming landmines.

“I think the next 90 days to four months is going to be a real meat grinder,” said Bannon, who also was Trump’s campaign CEO in 2016.

Adding to the contentious year ahead, Bannon said he “definitely” expects Trump will face GOP primary challenges from the more moderate wing of the party.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have considered presidential runs, though they have not made any announcement.

While the next few months will be challenging, Bannon predicted Trump will prevail.

“I think he comes out in a much more battle-hardened position,” Bannon said. “I think it’s going to be a very tough four or five months … but I think it will get him very focused.”


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