White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro is the type of guy President Trump was elected to appoint. Navarro is suspicious of foreign trade deals and wants to reduce the trade deficit with China. And now, he is the latest proponent of #MAGA policies being sidelined. Soon, no doubt, like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, he’ll be gone.
According to Politico:
Navarro has been increasingly sidelined during meetings and cut off from his once-regular access to the Oval Office as chief of staff John Kelly has moved to impose greater order on the West Wing . . .
Trump’s more moderate advisers have succeeded repeatedly in persuading the president to rethink his protectionist instincts. At one point, Trump seemed ready to slap tariffs on steel imports and withdraw from the South Korea trade deal — two top priorities for Navarro and his allies. Other aides interceded, successfully arguing that Trump should rely on the administration’s internal policy review process before making a rash decision, especially amid escalating tensions with North Korea.
One prominent D.C. lobbyist with close ties to the White House said Navarro has been largely shunned by other White House aides. “No one gives a damn what he says other than Trump,” the lobbyist said. “With Bannon gone, they look at their watch when he talks.”
That, according to Politico, is the remaining ace up Navarro’s sleeve. That one of the few people around the White House who agree with him is the president. Trade, along with immigration, is one of Trump’s signature issues. If he can’t get advice from a true Trump believer on this issue, then Trumpism is being completely diluted.
What we are seeing with Navarro and others, like the departed Bannon and Gorka, is the slow reclamation by the establishment of the Trump presidency. This is just the latest step.
It’s being cast as the creation of a more “orderly process.” But what “orderly” appears to mean is that loud, strong, views are being removed in favor of the polite Washington consensus. People like Bannon who gave advice others disagreed with are accused – as National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster did Sunday – of pursuing their own “agendas.”
What is the difference between having an agenda and having an opinion that you want the president to hear, I wonder? Especially when the president appointed you, knowing what you believe?
Trump is being neutered. And that is because he is surrounding himself with people who basically don’t agree with him. That’s his fault. And if it causes his own voters to sit home, which it will, he will never be reelected.