Now back at the helm of Breitbart News, President Trump’s ex-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has said he’s ‘going to war’ with his West Wing enemies, including ‘Javanka,’ his preferred portmanteau for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
New reporting from Vanity Fair indicates Bannon is primed to move his Breitbart brand into the television space, having conversed with GOP super donor Robert Mercer, about funding a network to the right of Fox, while also communicating with Sinclair’s chief political analyst Boris Epshteyn, a Trump campaign alum, about creating a Sinclair-Breitbart alliance.
The New York Times articulated who’s on Bannon’s enemies list, quoting him at first relishing Trump’s pick of John Kelly for chief of staff, because the former Homeland Security chief could keep some of those individuals away from the president.
‘Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry,’ Bannon was quoted as saying when Kelly first arrived.
Steve Bannon is back at the helm of Breitbart after being tossed from the White House on Friday and he’s already plotting a move to television, as he plots to take down his rivals in the West Wing
AND THE ‘HAWKS’: Bannon also plans to target President Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (left) and his deputy Dina Powell (right)
Bannon’s main beef with ‘Javanka’ is an ideological one, as he believes they’ll compel the president to abandon some of his more economic nationalist positions, on issues like immigration, to appease moderates that Bannon thinks will never like Trump.
‘They hate the very mention of his name,’ Bannon said of moderates, and Democrats too, that he saw the first daughter and her husband courting, according to the Times. ‘There is no constituency for this.’
Bannon, according to the Times, feared Trump would lose support among Republicans in Congress if he showed too much flexibility on immigration, while also alienating his core base of white, working-class voters.
‘You’ve got the base. And you grow the base by getting,’ Bannon reportedly said, according to the Times.
The former chief strategist lopped in Gary Cohn, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, to this group of ‘globalists’ to take on, along with ‘hawks’ who include National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his deputy Dina Powell, Vanity Fair said.
‘He wants to beat their ideas into submission,’ said Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman. ‘Steve has a lot of things up his sleeve.’
But while Bannon had the reputation for being a media savant it was his Scaramucci-like interview with a liberal magazine, while President Trump was dealing with fallout from the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that was the last straw.
Previously, Bannon had negotiated a mid-August exit date from the White House, after Kelly, a Javanka ally, had told him in July that it was nearly time for him to go.
But then Charlottesville happened and Bannon and Kelly clashed, according to the Times, over how Trump should respond.
Bannon also pointed out that it was an inopportune time for him to leave because it would like he was exiting over the president’s response, another negative news story that the White House didn’t need.
Kelly, Kushner and Ivanka Trump all believed that the president needed to clean up his first hasty statement in which he blamed the violence in the Virginia town on ‘many sides,’ seemingly equating neo-Nazis, KKK members and white supremacists with the protesters who showed up to march against their hate.
A Nazi sympathizer had used his car to run over members of the counter-protesting crowd, leaving one dead and 19 injured.
Bannon, on the other hand, thought Trump should hold his ground.
‘They’re going to say two things: It’s too late and it’s not enough,’ Bannon argued to Kelly, according to the Times, predicting the Washington media’s response.
Last Monday, Javanka’s position seemed to win out as Trump delivered a statement via teleprompter.
But then on Tuesday, Trump gave a free-wheeling press conference where he stated that he did believe that there was blame to be spread around on both sides.
It was this same presser, where Trump – reportedly annoyed by the new book, ‘Devil’s Bargain,’ which cast Bannon as a brilliant political mind – downplayed the aide’s role in his win.
‘I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine, but Mr. Bannon came on very late,’ Trump said, noting how he had ‘won all the primaries’ before Bannon helped him get his campaign out of a ditch last August.
Bannon later said he was only trying to help get the spotlight off the president when he talked to the American Prospect, calling a reporter for the liberal magazine and letting loose Wednesday night.
But by Friday, the president’s chief strategist was out – and free to move to Breitbart where he can plot his next move.