White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called the alt-right “a collection of clowns,” in a Tuesday afternoon phone call with Robert Kuttner of left-leaning magazine The American Prospect. “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more,” Bannon told columnist Robert Kuttner. Bannon also said his enemies within the U.S. government are “wetting themselves.” On North Korea, Bannon said, “there’s no military solution.” According to Axios, Bannon is shocked that his comments were published and did not think he was on the record. Kuttner said Bannon never told him he wanted the conversation to be off the record.