Stephen K. Bannon is out as President Trump’s chief strategist, prompting reports that the anti-establishment operative may return to his former position at Breitbart, which he left last summer upon taking a top spot in the Trump presidential campaign.
During his short stint in the White House, Bannon lobbied hard for the positions that formed the editorial backbone of Breitbart — anti-establishment, anti-globalist, anti-administrative state, anti-comprehensive immigration reform, anti-a lot of things. In lobbying for those positions, Bannon found himself at loggerheads with West Wing moderates such as National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and deputy national security advisor for strategy Dina Powell, not to mention Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House adviser Jared Kushner. Those folks would presumably remain his opponents in his travels outside of the White House.
Here’s the word from a Breitbartian:
In a report on this personnel change, Axios notes that Bannon has told others that he has a “killing machine” at Breitbart, an organization that he may well rejoin. The idea is to go “thermonuclear” against “globalists.”
And just how would such an attack differ from the Breitbart status quo? Let’s just look at the site’s recent coverage of Bannon antagonist Gary Cohn. Some recent headlines:
- Aug. 16: “Steve Bannon proud of Trump; Gary Cohn ‘disgusted.‘” Key passage: “Cohn was not the only White House staffer who was privately undermining the president’s message this week. Shortly after Tuesday’s press conference, [New York Times reporter Glenn] Thrush also reported that sources had told him that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump had pushed the president to ‘more forcefully denounce neo-Nazis, KKK, and white nationalists over the weekend.'”
- Aug. 16: “As ‘Disgusted’ Gary Cohn Fails, Donald Trump Disbands His CEO Council.” Key passage: “The move is a significant blow to the influence of Cohn in the White House. Cohn, who was once rumored to be a candidate for chief of staff, was passed over for Gen. John Kelly when now former chief of staff Reince Priebus resigned. Cohn is still rumored to be a potential candidate for chairman of the Federal Reserve, but his chances at that are now waning too, as his level of control in the White House is dwindling by the minute.”
- Aug. 6: “Gary Cohn Spotted Partying with Wall Street Elite at Hamptons ‘Pink’ Party.” Key passage: “You can take Gary Cohn out of Wall Street but you cannot take the Wall Street out of Gary Cohn. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser escaped tumultuous Washington, D.C. this weekend to return to his old stomping grounds: the Hamptons social scene, where elite Wall Street relocates for summer weekends.”
- July 26: “4 Gary Cohn Scandals That Could Kill His Nomination to Run the Federal Reserve.” Key passage: “Cohn was named Trump’s National Economic Council director after a 26-year career at Goldman Sachs, where he rose from trading commodities to be the second-highest ranking executive at the firm. That long tenure at the very pinnacle of Wall Street, however, enmeshed Cohn in several scandals and brought him close to several of Goldman’s most notorious misdeeds.”
- July 15: “Ex-Goldman Partner: Globalist Gary Cohn Vowed to Block Trump’s Nationalist Agenda.” Key passage: “Cohn and Powell have reportedly been quite the tandem, teaming up in the White House to try to push Trump away from the more pro-America, nationalist policies that endeared Trump to his ‘people’—the country’s working-class voters who have stood by him through all of his various “scandals” while the GOP elite’s first instincts have been to bail.”
- May 27: “Exclusive — Sen. Joe Manchin: We Need to ‘Educate’ Gary Cohn ‘A Little Bit Better’ on Crucial Role of Coal.” Key passage: “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a Democratic U.S. Senator from the heart of coal country in West Virginia, told Breitbart News exclusively that he was shocked and disappointed in White House National Economic Council director Gary Cohn’s anti-coal comments in Europe this week.”
Get the idea here? Just how Breitbart escalates this treatment to “#WAR” will be interesting to behold. Maybe Bannon — should he return to Breitbart — will turn up the heat on Cohn & Co., somehow. Will he call them names? Rummage through their trash? Delve into their office manners?
Who knows. What is clear is that Breitbart has already been inveighing against the so-called enemies of Bannon’s pet policy planks. Despite all the Twitter furor and battle cries, in other words, get prepared for … more status quo.