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Tag Archives: Steve Bannon

Bannon Making His Way Back Into Trump’s Good Graces

Maybe President Trump thinks he wants Bannon around as the reelection campaign ramps up. Bannon was a major factor in Trump’s election.

According to the Washington Examiner:

In the four months after he left the White House in August 2017, Steve Bannon would order reporters to the basement of the Capitol Hill townhouse known as the “Breitbart Embassy.” Sometimes, the news organization’s then-chairman would hustle to the third floor. President Trump was calling. 

As with many Trump aides before him, Bannon was fired but remained in a wide circle of former employees and friends consulted by the president. But unlike many others, the phase didn’t last long, ending in a pitiable downfall.

Bannon’s influence imploded with the January 2018 release of author Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.” The former White House chief strategist had given Wolff broad access and was quoted calling Donald Trump Jr. “treasonous” for meeting a Russian hawking dirt on Hillary Clinton. 

But now, coinciding with the two year anniversary of his White House exit, Bannon’s exile from Trump’s Washington seems to be ending.

Bannon, the Trump 2016 campaign executive chairman and former White House chief strategist, has appeared increasingly often on TV, including Fox News, to discuss world events. And on Aug. 2, he impressed Trump, who tweeted: “Nice to see that one of my best pupils is still a giant Trump fan. Steve joined me after I won the primaries, but I loved working with him!

Trump was asked privately this month about Bannon following the tweet, and answered to the effect of, “I think Steve is great. He is fantastic on television,” a person with direct knowledge of the conversation told the Washington Examiner.

Bannon Starts New Group Framing Midterms as Vote on Impeachment

According to Politico:

Steve Bannon is attempting a political resurrection, launching a 25-person pro-Trump rapid-response and polling operation that is framing the midterms as an up-or-down vote on the president’s impeachment.

The former White House chief strategist has started Citizens for the American Republic, an outside political group that intends to advise surrogates, generate talking points, and flood the TV and radio airwaves ahead of a perilous midterm election.

As part of the campaign, Bannon — a former Hollywood producer who’s made several conservative films — will soon release a new documentary, “Trump@War,” which he plans to release in September on the two-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s now-infamous speech in which she referred to Trump supporters as “deplorables.” The slickly produced movie depicts the president in deeply flattering terms, casting him as a populist hero who’s followed through on his campaign promises and defied a long line of liberal critics.

It notably does not focus on the culture wars that Trump advisers have said will be the key to his re-election strategy, but tells a positive story about the president’s 2016 campaign and time in office, while portraying liberal Trump haters as the ones who have targeted his supporters with physical violence in the streets . . .

“It’s very simple to me. This is a referendum on Trump, up-or-down vote on impeachment,” he said. “This other side, they’re very motivated — and they’re motivated for one thing: They want to impeach Donald Trump.”

Bannon’s strategy since being ousted from Trump’s orbit after criticizing Trump’s children is to shower the president with love and hope he is accepted back. This is smart, because Trump has not abandoned the populist-natonalist movement Bannon helped create and remains popular with the base, so Bannon has nowhere else to go. And Bannon recognizes that Trump remains the best vehicle for his ideas, which Bannon holds sincerely.

This is going to be very beneficial to Trump and the GOP. Because the danger for Republicans is that their base is not as motivated as the Democrats’, and so Bannon is trying to use fear – of impeachment – to get Republicans to the polls.

What’s more, Bannon is tireless and a brilliant organizer. He will create an extemely effective organization.

Many around Trump, however, will resist this and tell Trump he should do so too, both because they personally hate Bannon and because they think Trump will be tied to someone who is portrayed by Democrats as some kind of white supremacist. This is not what Bannon is at all, as I detail in the biography I wrote about him.

I think Trump knows how effective Bannon is and will recognize a die-hard suppoerter. I believe he will take Bannon back into his good graces, if he hasn’t already.

Trump Takes on “Globalist” Koch Brothers

In a early Tuesday morning tweet storm, President Trump attacked the GOP megadonor Koch Brothers, saying they are “two nice guys with bad ideas.”

The Kochs are disenchanted with the current state of GOP politics, making it clear that they are uncomfortable with Trump and his “divisiveness,” as well as the president’s trade policy. The Kochs have gone so far as to say they cannot support a Republican in a critical Senate race, refusing to back Republican Kevin Cramer against incumbent North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitcamp.

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, in an interview published Sunday, told the Kochs to “shut up and get with the program.”

“What they have to do is shut up and get with the program, OK?” Bannon told Politico. “And here’s the program: Ground game to support Trump’s presidency and program, [and] victory on Nov. 6.”

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 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… Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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