West Wing ‘Survivor’: Bannon circles the drain
The New York Times headline says it all: “Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster“.
The article leads with this tasty tidbit:
Rupert Murdoch has repeatedly urged President Trump to fire him. Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s former communications director, thrashed him on television as a white nationalist. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, refused to even say he could work with him.
But even before the Times headline ran, the Monday headlines showed the corpulent proto-fascist former online media mogul deep in the brown sauce:
- National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Bannon are having a feud, and Bannon is not winning.
President Donald Trump may soon have to decide between his chief strategist, former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, and his national security adviser, H. R. McMaster.
One tactic being floated by members of the far right, like blogger Mike Cernovich, is to accuse McMaster of having a drinking problem, according to a report by Axios. Because Trump is well known to abstain from drinking, the hope was that the president would lose faith in his adviser. Another claim, this one coming from the right-wing Zionist Organization of America, accused McMaster of being anti-Israel.
The tactic may wind up backfiring, however. Axios also reports that most White House officials do not believe the attacks against him and believe they have been orchestrated by Bannon, who has launched surreptitious campaigns against other Trump advisers like Jared Kushner ,who he perceived as being insufficiently right-wing on key issues. Bannon is also supported by the ZOA, which raises questions about whether he has played a role in shaping its attack on McMaster.
- The Mooch factor: Anthiony Scaramucci took Bannon to the woodshed Sunday on ABC’s This Week and last night on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
- Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that she wants Bannon out now.
[She] accus[ed] the White House strategist of being a “white supremacist” who’s empowered racist groups like those that marched in deadly protests in Virginia over the weekend.
Pelosi said Trump’s initial statement, which blamed “many sides” for the violent clashes in Charlottesville without mentioning the various racist groups involved, was “a direct reflection of the fact that … Bannon is an alt-right white supremacist sympathizer and a shameless enforcer of those un-American beliefs.” …
Pelosi renews call for Trump to fire Bannon
© Greg Nash
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday amplified her calls for President Trump to fire Stephen Bannon, accusing the White House strategist of being a “white supremacist” who’s empowered racist groups like those that marched in deadly protests in Virginia over the weekend.
Pelosi said Trump’s initial statement, which blamed “many sides” for the violent clashes in Charlottesville without mentioning the various racist groups involved, was “a direct reflection of the fact that … Bannon is an alt-right white supremacist sympathizer and a shameless enforcer of those un-American beliefs.”
“In his long overdue statement today, President Trump called white supremacists ‘repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,’ ” Pelosi said in a statement, referring to Trump’s more aggressive response from the White House on Monday.
“If the President is sincere about rejecting white supremacists, he should remove all doubt by firing Steve Bannon and the other alt-right white supremacist sympathizers in the White House.”
“President Trump’s failure to immediately denounce white supremacy is well in line with the unmistakable conduct of his administration toward immigrants, Muslims, and communities of color,” she said.
It’s not the first time Pelosi has launched such barbs at Bannon, a former executive at Breitbart News whose embrace of nationalist views has fueled charges of bigotry from his critics.
In November, Pelosi urged then Vice President-elect Pence to convince Trump to drop Bannon from any White House role, referring to him as “a white nationalist.” And in February, Pelosi escalated the criticisms, characterizing Bannon as “a white supremacist” after Trump tapped his top adviser to sit on the National Security Council. Trump removed Bannon from the council in April.
- Other leaders on Capitol Hill want a trifecta.
The heads of the Hispanic, black, and Asian caucuses are asking Trump to fire Stephen Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller following the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Va., that left one counter-protester dead.
“Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy,” the letter said, as reported by The AP. “In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart.”
If I were a gambling man – and I am – I would be putting the over/under on Bannon’s firing at Friday 4pmEDT. I would be rmiss if I did not recommend you consult your own local bookie.