From all appearances, it seems that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is hanging on to his job by the tiniest of threads. Bannon, the former chief executive at Breitbart and one of the most important components of the Trump Agenda during the campaign, has seemingly made enemies with a wide swath of people inside the administration. And now, without his ally Reince Priebus by his side, he is watching while nearly everyone within the Trump orbit openly attacks him…or at least pointedly refuses to defend him, as H.R. McMaster demonstrated on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. How long can it be before Bannon is once again a private citizen? And what would that mean for the White House going forward?
In a recent Politico article, anonymous White House officials said they expected new Chief of Staff John Kelly to “push Bannon out in the coming weeks.” His clashes with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner have become the stuff of Washington legend. He reportedly does NOT get along with McMaster. And according to the New York Times, Anthony Scaramucci, Roger Stone, and Rupert Murdoch have all urged President Trump to send Bannon on his merry way.
“At a recent dinner at the White House with Mr. Kushner and Mr. Kelly, before Mr. Trump decamped for a working vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., the president listened while one of the guests, Mr. Murdoch, a founder of Fox News, said Mr. Bannon had to go,” the Times reported. “Mr. Trump offered little pushback, according to a person familiar with the conversation, and vented his frustrations about Mr. Bannon. Mr. Murdoch is close to Mr. Kushner, who has been in open warfare with Mr. Bannon since the spring.”
Some have said that Trump resents the renewed publicity Bannon is getting from a new book called Devil’s Bargain, which chronicles the relationship between Trump and his chief strategist and their slash and burn 2016 campaign. And now that Trump is under fire for his response to the Charlottesville mayhem, Democrats are once again pressuring him to get rid of Bannon. The heads of the black, Asian, Hispanic, and progressive House caucuses sent an open letter to Trump this week asking him to fire Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka.
“Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy,” said the House Democrats in the letter. “In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart.”
Well, if Trump was on the verge of firing Bannon, this letter may be enough to make him reconsider. As usual, the Democrats played themselves.