Steve Bannon Has Fallen From Grace, With A Shove From Jared Kushner (VIDEO)
On Wednesday, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council by Donald Trump — but that may be just the beginning of his woes. The man who recently told associates, “I love a gunfight” has made a number of mistakes — the biggest of which may be trying to get the drop on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The two men represent opposite factions within the administration. Bannon, of course, heads the extreme right wing, nationalist, isolationist faction. Kushner, who was a Democrat until his father-in-law entered the presidential race, leads the group that is supposedly liberal.
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That the duo can’t stand each other is no secret, but lately the animosity has broken into all-out war. As Kushner has gained in influence, Steve Bannon has made some huge missteps that include shaping the failed Muslim bans #1 and #2, that are now tied up in court; giving Congress an ultimatum on repealing Obamacare, which also failed; and letting his allies give the impression that he is the ‘puppeteer’ behind the presidency.
The last factor may have provided the biggest shove of the ‘chief strategist’ toward the door. Trump is reportedly incensed at the perception that his advisor is the actual power behind the throne. He groused about a Saturday Night Live clip, aired in February, that made no bones about it — presenting Bannon as the Grim Reaper, urging Trump to act on his most destructive impulses before the specter finally takes his ‘rightful’ seat behind the desk in the Oval Office (see video below).
However, the rapid downfall is also being laid at the feet of Jared Kushner — especially by Steve Bannon’s allies. One of Trump’s former political adviser’s, Roger Stone, appeared on Alex Jones’ show, Info Wars, to say:
Jared Kushner, perhaps the one presidential aide who cannot be fired, is now in regular text message communications with Joe Scarborough. Many of the anti-Steve Bannon stories that you see, the themes that you see on [MSNBC’s] Morning Joe, are being dictated by Kushner.
The Daily Beast reports that Bannon himself has called Kushner disparaging names behind his back, although he seems to think that the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘globalist’ are the worst slurs he could call the younger man. Another ally, right-wing radio host Mark Levin, tweeted this about Kushner and his team:
Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell: the three big-government liberals tightening their hold on the White House.
The fact that Steve Bannon is losing the war with his foe is most apparent in the actions of Donald Trump. While Bannon is being marginalized, the chief executive’s son-in-law is gaining an ever-expanding role with the administration. NPR provided this summary:
Despite his lack of policy, government or diplomatic experience, Kushner, 36, now has an expansive portfolio — from domestic to foreign policy. He is a key envoy for the president with foreign and business leaders, helping lead preparations for Chinese President Xi’s visit to the U.S. Thursday and Friday; he made a surprise visit to Iraq Monday; he is still point on trying to strike a Middle East peace deal; and he is tasked with heading up an Office of American Innovation in the White House.
The fact that Steve Bannon is a bigger fool than anyone suspected becomes apparent simply in the fact that he would take on Kushner. While Trump is known for setting people with conflicting opinions against each other, with the notion that solutions will emerge from the battle, he is also known for his intense loyalty to and reliance on family members. How does the ‘chief strategist’ think there’s any possibility of coming out on top in this struggle?
And while it’s a relief to those of us who fear Trump’s worst impulses to see Bannon’s influence on the decline, there is no reassurance that a steady hand will be steering the ship of state from this day forward. Kushner may emerge the victor, but he’s a big unknown with little accountability. After all, he wasn’t elected to the elevated position he holds.
Watch the Saturday Night Live clip on Steve Bannon as the Grim Reaper here:
Feature photo, Steve Bannon by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons.