White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has clashed with President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump said Tuesday he’s his own strategist
By DOMENICO MONTANARO / NPR / April 12, 2017
Could a real shake-up be coming soon to the Trump White House — and is his chief strategist Steve Bannon the one on the outs?
The president sounds fed up with the infighting, and he appears to be picking sides — predictably with his family. In an interview with the New York Post‘s Michael Goodwin, Trump seems to push away Bannon.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember, he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “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.”
That is brutal. Bannon, the former head of the right-wing website Breitbart with a very particular world view, was brought on in August of 2016 and named the campaign’s “CEO.”
He was kept on when Trump won the presidency as White House chief strategist and has been seen as an inspirational leader for Trump — populist, nativist and anti-globalist. Bannon’s fingerprints are everywhere — from Trump’s “America First” doctrine to the dark vision laid out in his inaugural address. He even put himself on the Principals Committee of the National Security Council, an unprecedented and unusual step for the president’s top political strategist.
But Bannon clashed with the wrong person, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner enjoys a broad portfolio in the White House and, most importantly, influence with Trump. He’s married to Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, who always has her father’s ear — and now a West Wing office, too. She reportedly is “angrier than anyone.”
Don’t misread this – Ivanka Trump angrier than anyone over current events, per multiple sources http://nypost.com/2017/04/11/trump-wont-definitively-say-he-still-backs-bannon/ …
Trump won’t definitively say he still backs Bannon
Washington’s rumor mill is working overtime on the fate of presidential aide Steve Bannon, who is said to be at the center of the rampant White House infighting. When I asked the president Tuesday – nypost.com
The president ordered Kushner and Bannon to sit down and work things out Friday at Mar-a-Lago. Trump confirmed that to Goodwin, and in the process, may have revealed which side he’s on.
“Steve is a good guy,” the president said, “but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”
It’s never good when your boss says you’re a “good guy, but… .”
It’s a remarkable turn of events for someone like Bannon, who seemed to rise in Trump’s orbit quickly, only to, like Icarus, have his wings melt away when he got too close to the sun.
Steeped in controversy
Bannon has always been a controversial figure, having touted Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right,” which is closely aligned with white nationalism.
The Trump campaign had difficulty balancing the fact that white nationalism, including white supremacists, were supportive of Trump and the need to push back against them publicly. Trump’s campaign team, even after the election, angrily denied that it had given a boost to racists. But Trump’s campaign and he himself repeatedly (his team says unwittingly) retweeted or used alt-right memes.
But now Bannon’s influence has taken a hit, especially when it comes to foreign policy and the Trump administration’s recent airstrike in Syria. Trump’s new national security adviser, Army Lt. Gen. Henry McMaster,