Stephen Bannon

Miller Distances Himself from Bannon

Politico: “Stephen Miller has managed to endear himself to the man emerging as the president’s most indispensable adviser: son-in-law Jared Kushner. As the relationship between Kushner and Bannon has deteriorated, Miller has made sure his colleagues know he’s not on Bannon’s team. … And unlike Bannon, a wealthy man in his own right, the president doesn’t see Miller as a peer or someone trying to take the spotlight, unless he’s been allowed to take it.”

If Trump Fired Him, Would Bannon Seek Revenge?

Ben Schreckinger: “I asked friends and foes alike to imagine how, should Bannon get the boot, the pugnacious populist might exact his revenge.”

“Taken together, their suggestions amount to an epic, Kill Bill-style revenge saga that starts with Bannon leaking personal dirt on his enemies to the tabloids, using the megaphone of Breitbart News to exacerbate divisions inside the administration, and siccing an army of internet trolls on his adversaries to harass and defame them. It ends with Bannon using Cambridge Analytica data to identify and primary their vulnerable allies in Congress, then releasing a ‘Where Trump Went Wrong’ documentary on the eve of the November midterms and finally—in this revenge fantasy’s epic climax—running against Trump himself in 2020.”

What’s Next If Bannon Is Pushed Out?

New York Times: “Mr. Bannon’s allies have already begun discussing a post-White House future for him. On Friday, his main political patron, Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Robert Mercer, a major Trump donor, holed up in her office at Cambridge Analytica in New York, discussing possibilities for Mr. Bannon should he leave… Mr. Bannon served on the data-mining firm’s board until last summer.”

“Steve Deace, a conservative commentator from Iowa who has always been skeptical about Mr. Trump’s conservative core, said that cutting Mr. Bannon loose would send the wrong signal to conservatives — and could be dangerous given the delight Mr. Bannon takes in disruption.”

Said Deace: “I think firing Bannon would be a huge mistake for Trump. Hell hath no fury like a Bannon scorned.”

When Jared Wins

“When Stephen K. Bannon reported for work Wednesday, he did not act like a man who had just been publicly humiliated by his boss,” the Washington Post reports.

“The White House chief strategist cycled in and out of the Oval Office for meetings with President Trump… But for Bannon, the day’s routine obscured the reality that he is a marked man — diminished by weeks of battles with the bloc of centrists led by Trump’s daughter and son-in-law and cut down by the president himself, who belittled Bannon in an interview with the New York Post.”

Rich Lowry: “For Bannon, the internal fight with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is going about as well as could be expected, which is to say it couldn’t be going much worse.”

Trump Won’t Say If He Still Backs Bannon

Michael Goodwin: “Washington’s rumor mill is working overtime on the fate of aide Steve Bannon, who is said to be at the center of the rampant White House in-fighting. When I asked the President Tuesday afternoon if he still has confidence in Bannon, who took over the campaign in mid-August, I did not get a definitive yes.”

Said Trump: “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

He added: “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

The Case Against Firing Steve Bannon

Rick Wilson: “If Bannon is cut loose, the old Washington adage of ‘better to have your enemy inside the tent pissing out’ will come into play. The coverage of Trump in the Bannon/Mercer echo chamber will go from ‘gushing hagiography’ to ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ to ‘Trump is now a globalist cuck shill for the ZOG’ faster than Andrew Breitbart can rotate in his grave.”

“Another reason firing Bannon is fraught with risk: Bannon is running the Russia pushback operation from inside the White House. He’s up to his ample ass in the Nunes shenanigan with NSC staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnik and White House Counsel’s Office staffer Mike Ellis. Bannon doesn’t just want to protect Trump over the Russia allegations; he wants to protect Russia, a nation he sees as an essential ally in his new alliance of white Christian nations against the Muslim horde. Does Trump really want Bannon, angry and in the wind, declaring his own jihad?”

Bannon’s Multimedia Machine Paid Him Millions

A Washington Post examination “found that Bannon was able to produce more than a dozen conservative documentaries over the past decade by drawing on a network of two-dozen nonprofit organizations and private companies. Bannon helped arrange donations from wealthy Republicans to the nonprofits that paid him for films and other work, documents show. At the same time, Bannon and his firms took in at least $2 million from the nonprofits and an additional $5 million from the private companies, records show.”

“Bannon, who had already made millions on Wall Street, often was paid in multiple ways for each project — a common practice in Hollywood, where he had worked as an entertainment financier. Because he was paid through the nonprofit and private companies, which have limited obligations to disclose details about their activities, the total pay to Bannon remains unknown.”

The Book Behind Bannon’s Views

The New York Times says Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s favorite book is The Fourth Turning, a 1997 work by two amateur historians, Neil Howe and William Strauss, that “lays out a theory that American history unfurls in predictable, 80-year cycles of prosperity and catastrophe.”

The book’s warning: “History is seasonal, and winter is coming.”

“The basis of his worldview — which has been described as everything from Leninist to alt-right, an extremist fringe movement associated with white nationalism — is still shrouded in mystery and conjecture. But by his own telling, much of the foundation for his political beliefs can be found in the book, which predicts that America is hurtling toward a crisis on par with the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Great Depression.”

Bannon’s Allies Scramble to Save Him

Axios: “Steve Bannon’s allies both inside and outside the White House are worried Trump is going to fire him. They’re scrambling this afternoon to figure out a way to persuade the president he’d be making a grave mistake. They argue that getting rid of Bannon will cost Trump among his “America First” constituency, and gain nothing among Democrats or the press.”

“They say Trump’s key to victory is to keep his base motivated. And that means keeping Bannon.”

Mike Allen reports Bannon “is increasingly isolated and will be forced out unless he can adopt a more cooperative approach, a top source told me.”

Bannon Calls Kushner a ‘Cuck’

President Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon has called the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner a “cuck” and a “globalist” during a time of high tension between the two top aides, several Trump administration officials told the Daily Beast.

The fighting between Kushner and Bannon has been “nonstop” in recent weeks… It’s been an “open secret” that Bannon and Kushner often clash “face-to-face.”

Bannon Denies Threatening to Quit

After a series of high-level White House leaks portraying Steve Bannon as fed up with his job and ready to quit, Axios reports that Trump’s chief strategist has told associates the stories are “100 percent nonsense” and he’s playing for keeps.

Said Bannon: “I love a gunfight.”

“Even for this leaky, rivalrous White House, the Bannon broadside was brutal. Numerous officials torched the senior adviser in media stories, did nothing to soften the Bannon-loses-power narrative and watched gleefully as Drudge and others trumpeted his fall. Truth is, the hatred between the two wings is intense and irreconcilable.”

Bannon Threatened to Quit Over Security Council Ouster

New York Times: “Mr. Bannon resisted the move, even threatening at one point to quit if it went forward, according to a White House official who, like others, insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Mr. Bannon’s camp denied that he had threatened to resign and spent the day spreading the word that the shift was a natural evolution, not a signal of any diminution of his outsize influence.”

“His allies said privately that Mr. Bannon had been put on the principals committee to keep an eye on Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, a retired three-star general who lasted just 24 days before being forced out for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about what he had discussed with Russia’s ambassador. With Mr. Flynn gone, these allies said, there was no need for Mr. Bannon to remain, but they noted that he had kept his security clearance.”

Politico: Mega-donor Rebekah Mercer urged Bannon not to quit.

McMaster Solidifies Control of National Security Council

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster “quietly slipped out of the White House grounds last week to seek the counsel of one of his aging predecessors, another three-star general who ran the National Security Council in a time of political turmoil and congressional probes,” Politico reports.

“McMaster’s session with 92-year-old Brent Scowcrof… was the clearest indication yet that McMaster, who took the reins of the NSC in February after his predecessor Mike Flynn was ousted, intends to radically depart from the approach taken by Flynn and President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was removed from his seat on Wednesday.”

Washington Post: “McMaster has become a blunt force within the administration who has made clear to several top officials and the president that he does not want the NSC to have any political elements.”

Bannon Removed from National Security Council

President Trump “reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing,” Bloomberg reports.

“Under the move, the national intelligence director, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, are again “regular attendees” of the NSC’s principals committee.”