Last Friday Bannon boldly declared: “I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents… on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”
But, according to a new note from Vanity Fair, that “war” could end up ensnaring the President himself should he decide to succumb to what Bannon views as intense internal White House pressure, from the likes of Jared Kushner, Ivanka and Gary Cohn, among others, to move to the Left on key policy issues.
Quoting editor Matt Boyle, Vanity Fair reports that Breitbart views itself as the key reason that the Russia scandal hasn’t gained traction on the right but that they are “prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment” should future Trump policies deviate too far to the Left.
“We’re in a loud bar celebrating the return of our captain!” Breitbart’s Washington editor Matt Boyle told me on Friday night. Breitbart’s defense of Trump has so far helped keep the Russia scandal from gaining traction on the right. But that could swiftly change if Trump, under the influence of Kushner and Cohn, deviates too far from the positions he ran on. If that happens, said one high-level Breitbart staffer, “We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment.”
Of course, as media reports have speculated for months now, the real targets of Bannon’s war are the “globalists” in the White House which, at least in Bannon’s mind, include Ivanka, Jared, Gary Cohn and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, among others.
Bannon’s main targets are the West Wing’s coterie of New York Democrat “globalists”—Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn—as well as the “hawks,” comprised of National Security Adviser H.R McMaster and his deputy, Dina Powell. “He wants to beat their ideas into submission,” Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow told me. “Steve has a lot of things up his sleeve.”
The chaotic, war-torn West Wing of the past six months will be prologue, but the coming struggles will be as personal as they are ideological, waged not with leaks but with slashing Breitbart banners. On Sunday, Breitbart took renewed aim at McMaster, with a headline claiming he advocated “Quran Kissing.”
But the biggest target of all is squarely on the back of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who Bannon affectionately describes as a “dope” with “highly questionable political instincts.”
But most of all, there’s a deep animosity between Bannon and Kushner, amplified by a lack of respect. Bannon finds Kushner’s political instincts highly questionable. “He said Jared is a dope,” one Bannon ally recalled.
The two clashed fiercely on personnel decisions and policy debates, both domestic and international, many of which Bannon lost.
But Bannon, who was the only West Wing advisor to publicly support the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, is especially galled at being scapegoated as an anti-Semite in its wake. “It’s one of the attacks he takes most personally because it’s not true,” a Breitbart staffer told me. Bannon’s allies lay out a more complicated backstory. Bannon, they say, lobbied Trump aggressively to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Kushner. And, according to three Bannon allies, Bannon pushed a tougher line against the Palestinians than Kushner did. In May, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Bannon stayed home. “I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon texted a friend.
Meanwhile, the next phase of Bannon’s revenge has already started with last night’s headline story: