Stephen Bannon

Bannon Called Trump a ‘Narcissist’ In Private Emails

“Steve Bannon privately expressed ambivalence about Donald Trump as a presidential candidate before taking over his campaign, calling Trump a ‘narcissist’ and stating that he didn’t care if Trump won,” according to emails obtained by BuzzFeed News.

“The email exchange, during Bannon’s first run as executive chairman of Breitbart News, is of fresh relevance after President Trump lambasted his former chief strategist.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“You realize where this is going. This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner… It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

— Stephen Bannon, quoted in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House on the Russian investigation.

Will Bannon Try to Bump Romney?

Callum Borchers: “The race to succeed Hatch in Utah could represent an irresistible challenge for Bannon, especially if Mitt Romney runs. As I have noted before, Romney and Breitbart News were very friendly in 2012, when the former Massachusetts governor was the GOP presidential nominee. But since Romney lost to Barack Obama — an event that roughly coincided with Bannon assuming control of Breitbart — Romney has become a symbol of the political establishment Breitbart reviles.”

Axios: Romney changes Twitter location to Utah.

Bannon Cuts Ties with Ryan Challenger

“Steve Bannon has cut ties with Paul Nehlen, the far-right activist who is challenging Paul Ryan for his congressional seat and who has received extremely favorable coverage from Breitbart in the past,” CNN reports.

Said one Bannon adviser: “Nehlen is dead to us.”

“Nehlen, who became a lightning rod for his anti-immigrant views, has escalated his rhetoric in recent days with a number of incendiary tweets.”

Bannon Bashes Romney Over His Religion

“Steve Bannon bashed Mitt Romney for, as he put it, hiding behind his religion to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War,” CNN reports.

Said Bannon: “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

First Read: “After Bannon’s vicious attack on Romney and his sons, how does Romney – who’s a competitive guy – respond? Does he think about potentially challenging Trump in 2020? Does he consider running for the Senate, even with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) looking like he’s gearing up for another term? Or does Romney back down?”

“Remember, Romney and Trump are pretty much the polar opposites of the Republican Party. And if 2020 started tomorrow, Trump would probably get a primary challenge from someone like a Romney or a Flake or a John Kasich.”

Bannon Returns to the Airwaves

Stephen Bannon “returned to the Sirius XM radio show he had hosted before joining Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, an outlet that reaches 32 million people,” the New York Times reports.

“The daily program provides an additional venue for the leader of the website Breitbart to toss political grenades at people like Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, as the 2018 midterm election cycle begins.”

Bannon Keeps Low Profile In Alabama Race

Associated Press: “Bannon hasn’t yanked his support for Moore, but if he’s standing by him — it’s at a distance. Associates say he has no plans to campaign in the state before the Dec. 12 election. Meanwhile, his public statements have gone from glowing endorsements of Moore to broadsides against Democratic contender Doug Jones.”

“The shift reflects the high stakes for Bannon in the race. By backing the renegade Moore, Bannon transformed the sleepy special election into the first battle in what he calls his war on the establishment. But the accusations against Moore have turned what should have been an easy win for Republicans into a nail-biter, and raise the possibility that Bannon will emerge from his first effort bruised and blamed.”

Bannon May Find Donors Hard to Get

“Steve Bannon has vowed to lead a ‘season of war’ on Washington’s Republican establishment. But donors most likely to fund a disruptive campaign may be hard to win over,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Bannon is planning to support primary challengers to GOP senators with a goal of toppling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell… Turning that into reality likely would require tens of millions of dollars to rally voters and build the name recognition of various candidates facing well-financed, sitting senators. Indeed, outside groups spent nearly $3 million in 2012 helping Richard Mourdock defeat Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana. Mr. Mourdock went on to lose the general election.”

“In recent weeks, however, two of the biggest GOP donors who have funded disruptive campaigns in the past have distanced themselves from Mr. Bannon. And the turbulent Senate race in Alabama, where Mr. Bannon backs Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is facing sexual assault allegations, has energized Mr. McConnell’s defenders.”

Bannon Has Urged Cuban to Run for President

Mark Cuban has discussed the possibility of running for president in 2020 with Steve Bannon over the past few months, the Daily Beast reports.

Axios: “Bannon wants to break down the entrenched political system, so he might view Cuban — with his mix of social liberalism and Ayn Rand devotion — as someone he could work with on the left. And while it might seem odd that Bannon would seemingly work against Trump, don’t forget that he told Vanity Fair last month that he only gives his boss a 30% chance of lasting a full term.”

The Overrated Steve Bannon

Matt Lewis: “The moral of the story for Republicans is that Trumpism is toxic in diverse areas full of educated suburbanites. As these regions continue to grow (and as the areas where Trump performs well continue to shrink), Republicans will face the demographic crisis we’ve been warning about for years.”

“This was always going to be a challenge for Republicans, but Trump and Bannon have exacerbated the problem. Roy Moore can win in deep-red Alabama; he can’t win in purple Virginia.”