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Tag Archives: Steve Bannon

Former Top Clinton Aide Tries to Stir the Mob Against Bookstore Owner

Philippe Reines, the aggressive longtime senior aide to Hillary Clinton, tweeted out the address of a Richmond, Virginia bookstore whose owner called the police when a woman would not stop harassing former Trump aide Steve Bannon.

Bannon, as he often does, was browsing a bookstore in his hometown when he became the latest victim of the new peace-love-and-understanding liberal strategy of harassing aides to President Trump. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books on West Main Street in the Fan District, said Bannon was in the bookstore Saturday afternoon and that a woman confronted him, calling him a “piece of trash.”

Cooke said he called 911 and that the woman left as he made the call.

“Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business. I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left,” Cooke said. “And that’s the end of the story.”

“We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody, which is what was happening,” Cooke said.

Reines, who has served as Hillary’s chief spokesman, offered this bunch of spin in his defense, according to Fox News:

Reines defended his tweet that gathered over seven thousand interactions, insisting he’s not “encouraging any behavior” by sharing the information.

“I’m providing a service to the public by providing the contact information the bookstore posted on their website – presumably with the hope of being contacted. I presented facts without encouraging any behavior,” he tweeted. “I’d point out though it’s possible this woman stopped a book burning.”

I gather the last part is a joke. And if anyone is going to start burning books in this country it will be liberals, who can no longer tolerate free speech.

And the first part is a lie. The only reason to publish the address, in the context of the current political climate, is so that people will go to the bookstore and protest.

So Reines would try to put a small businessman who has devoted his life to books – which surely isn’t making him wealthy – out of business in order to serve his political ends and personal animus. Sounds about right for a liberal circa 2018.

New Book: Bannon Told Ivanka, “You’re Just Another Staffer”

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon sought to put Ivanka Trump in her place, telling her she’s “just another staffer” who, furthermore, doesn’t know what she’s doing.

The book, “Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth,” by Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, is described in an article by Washington Post.

From the piece:

Kurtz writes that Stephen K. Bannon — Trump’s former chief strategist who was a key on-the-record source for Wolff’s book and seems likely to have talked to Kurtz — dresses down the president’s daughter early in the administration.

“My daughter loves me as a dad,” Bannon told Ivanka, according to Kurtz. “You love your dad. I get that. But you’re just another staffer who doesn’t know what you’re doing.”

Kurtz also recounts an Oval Office meeting in which Bannon blamed Ivanka for a leak — and Trump supported him over his daughter: “ ‘Baby, I think Steve’s right here,’ Trump told her.”

A White House official denied the account, and said, “The past three weeks have made very clear who the leakers are.” The White House did not respond to questions about other parts of the excerpts obtained by The Post.

Like another recently released insider tale, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” Kurtz’s book “offers a portrait of a White House riven by chaos,” according to the Post, though Kurtz offers a “more flattering portrayal of the West Wing staff than some other media accounts.”

Bannon’s Testimony Tuesday Holds Peril for Trump

Everyone focused on the wrong quote by Steve Bannon, who is testifying today before the House Intelligence Committee, in Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury.” People wanted to talk about Bannon’s insult of Donald Trump Jr., whom he said had been “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” in trying tap the Russian government – through a meeting with someone who had been described as a Russian government attorney – to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Treasonous? Probably not. Unpatriotic? I’d say so. Imagine if we found out the Obama campaign had met with the Russians to scoop out dirt on Mitt Romney or John McCain.

But this is probably not what President Trump cared about in attacking Bannon as much as he did this statement by Bannon to the author:

This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose 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.

The comment about the meeting being treasonous could be easily characterized by Bannon to investigators as a personal opinion. But money laundering is not an opinion. It suggests Bannon knows something or had heard something, and the Intel Committee, and eventually Special Prosecutor Mueller, will want to know what animated Bannon’s statement.

I do not believe Bannon is going to try to get retribution on either Trump or Kushner. Despite having his career destroyed – albeit most likely temporarily – by Trump as a result of Bannon’s own statements in the book, Bannon remains committed to the populist-nationalist cause and knows Trump is the only instrument for advancing it. And he also knows that if he becomes the “rat” who helps take down Trump, he will never get back into a leadership position among the Republican base. Nor, of course, would he ever get back into good graces with Trump, which remains possible.

The problem for Trump is, what if Bannon knows something and feels he would perjure himself not to tell?

Chamber of Commerce Looking to Quash Anti-Establishment Candidates

With the defenestration of Steve Bannon, the Washington establishment believes it is on a roll and is vowing to support the status quo that Donald Trump was sent to Washington to overturn.

Lobbyists, pro-amnesty, and pro-deep state types have to be ecstatic. Lots of expense account lunches are being lined up so that the government handouts to business can continue rolling.

From the Washington Times:

Looking to avoid a repeat of the Alabama Senate race, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday it will get involved in Republican primaries, using its considerable influence and war chest to try to stop the surge of right-wing, anti-Washington candidates.

Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue said they’ve been pushed to take a more active role in order to counter right-wing rabble-rouser Steve Bannon and others who are trying to recruit nominees who will challenge establishment Republicans.

“We’re going to spend a whole lot of money when we have an unsafe seat and a candidate that we believe is more interested in disrupting the process than governing and fixing the process,” Mr. Donohue said, suggesting they would spend at least as much as the $29 million invested in 2016.

The Chamber of Commerce is not trying to fix the process. The Chamber of Commerce IS the process.

Bannon’s Popularity Plummets

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s popularity among Republicans dropped dramatically after he was attacked by President Trump following revelations in a new book by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury,” that Bannon had criticized Donald Trump Jr.

The poll was taken before Bannon was fired from Breitbart.

According to Politico:

According to findings released Wednesday, only 19 percent of GOP voters said they had a favorable view of the former White House chief strategist, a 13-percent drop in favorability from a little less than a month prior, when 32 percent registered approval of him. The survey was conducted last Thursday and Friday, just after Bannon’s public falling out with the White House on Wednesday.

Forty-six percent of Republicans who were surveyed registered an unfavorable view of Bannon, a 17-percent increase from the last poll, taken Dec. 14-18. Overall, 51 percent of voters registered an unfavorable view of Bannon, while 14 percent gave a favorable assessment. Thirty-five percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Bannon doesn’t quit, though, and he’ll be back. How far back is anyone’s guess, but it will depend in part on whether Trump gets too cozy with the Republican establishment in Washington and the GOP base becomes disenchanted with the president and begins to think more highly again of Bannon. Or, alternatively, whether Trump stays popular and reembraces Bannon, which is always a possibility with Trump.

Bannon Out at Breitbart

From a statement by Breitbart.com:

Stephen K. Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, where he served as Executive Chairman since 2012.
Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth and orderly transition.

Bannon said, “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”

According to Breitbart CEO Larry Solov, “Steve is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.”

The White House had taken the unusual step of calling on Breitbart to ditch Bannon after he was quoted making negative statements about President Trump and Trump’s family in a new book by Michael Wolff. According to the New York Times, Rebekah Mercer, a part owner of Breitbart who had previously financed Bannon’s activities, forced Bannon’s removal.

Breitbart’s identity was molded by Bannon. Now it will have to find its way without him. And, quite possibly, compete with a rival populist publication that Bannon may seek to launch.

White House: There’s Likely No Way Back for Bannon

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley was asked today aboard Air Force One about the White House response to Steve Bannon’s statement of contrition about his comments that Donald Trump Jr. had acted in a treasonous and unpatriotic manner by meeting with an associate of the Russian government to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Gidley said:

I don’t believe there’s any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point. It is very obvious that Mr. Bannon worked with Mr. Wolff in this particular book. The President has been very clear on his thoughts; issued a four-paragraph statement about Mr. Bannon. Zero ambiguity in those statements. It was obvious that the book was false and fake. The President pointed to that and also pointed that Mr. Bannon is not in it for the country but instead in it for himself. And those statements still stand.

When you go after somebody’s family, in the manner in which he did — two of the President’s children who are serving this nation, sacrificing in their service — it is repugnant, it is grotesque. And I challenge anybody to go and talk about someone else’s family and see if that person doesn’t come back and come back hard.

There may be no way back for Bannon, but I doubt it, even though Bannon’s attack on the president’s son was a stupid move and Trump is naturally quite insulted. Trump nearly offered Mitt Romney the job of secretary of state, despite the vitriolic attacks Romney launched against Trump during the campaign. And, as I’ve written, if Trump strays to closely into the arms of the likes of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Chuck Schumer, he may find he needs Bannon to help him get the GOP base to the polls, even if many in the base are furious with Bannon right now.

Why Trump Needs Bannon

President Trump is courting danger by losing the counsel of Steve Bannon, who helped keep Trump focusing on his populist message during the campaign and his first months in the White House.

From a piece I have running now on the NBC News website:

Washington is a sports-obsessed town — and that’s not a reference to the Redskins or the Nationals. Its sport is politics. And most people, whether journalists or politicians, are focused on who is winning, who is up, and — perhaps most delightedly — who is down.

Steve Bannon’s apparent conversion — at least for now — from the president’s closest political confidant to a “you-are-dead-to-me” outcast is not just a spectacle for analysts who, to use a reality-show title Trump might appreciate, want to figure out who is “the biggest loser.”

It represents the possibility that Trump’s most important adviser — and even, teacher — is heading into the political wilderness. As a result, Trump will be denied access to the voice that, perhaps more than any other, has facilitated his mind meld with the populist Republican base. Lose that connection, and 2020, not to mention 2018, may be lost.

Trump has tried to minimize Bannon’s influence. But, in fact, Bannon first advised Trump and helped mold his populist thinking seven years ago, when a mutual associate, David Bossie, shepherded Bannon over to Trump Tower in 2010 to discuss a possible Trump run for president in 2012.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Video || Stephen Miller and Jake Tapper Sink Their Teeth Into Each Other

Well, this was pretty fascinating viewing, in case you didn’t see it. White House domestic policy advisor Stephen Miller refused to go off his talking points bashing the book by Michael Wolff about the early days of the Trump White House. CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper accused Miller of essentially going on… Continue Reading

Mercer, Candidates, Distance From Bannon; Could be Removed from Breitbart

With President Trump making it clear that Republicans must choose between him and Steve Bannon, reports suggest former Bannon supporters, including his chief financial backers, the Mercers, are distancing themselves from him. There was talk about forcing Bannon out of Breitbart. I’d note a couple of things here. Bannon is a survivor with tremendous name… Continue Reading