President Trump is going along with a decision by White House chief of staff John Kelly to force trade hawk Peter Navarro to work for his nemesis, globalist National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, according to Politico.
Kelly has decided that Navarro’s Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy will now be part of the NEC, which is a little like folding Central Conference of American Rabbis into the Catholic church. It’s a clear message to Navarro, an ally of former White House strategist Steve Bannon and an opponent of multilateral international trade deals, that he should get out of the White House. Navarro, according to Politico, isn’t leaving, but I’m sure eventually he will.
In the name of creating a more “orderly” process in the White House, Kelly is simply removing an entire faction of thought within the building, ending the need for debate that prompts “divisiveness.” Only, the people he is removing are those who provide the intellectual firepower behind the principles upon which Trump was elected.
Trump is surrounding himself with aides who do not believe in what he stands for and who, with the possible exception of family members, will not stick around when the going gets tough. They’ll have their resumes padded and explain to their bewildered friends among the elite that they joined the White House and stayed there a short while “for the good of the country,” not for Trump.
Meantime, Trump will be pressured into trade policy and take actions on trade that he would not otherwise support.
Because I think Trump does actually believe many of the things he campaigned on, he’s going to feel increasingly isolated in the White House. Some of those who have left believe they will eventually be summoned back. They may be right. Especially if Trump wants to be reelected.