Opinion

Bannon’s Time Is Up

Steven K. Bannon, the swashbuckling former Goldman Sachs banker and press baron of Breitbart news who calls himself “Chief Strategist” of Trump’s historic campaign, is in deep trouble within the Trump White House.

To be clear, I am no fan of National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster whose globalist views and hires are negating the foreign policy the President ran on.

I am one who had publicly defended Bannon from false charges of racism and anti-Semitism yet I have concluded he is a spent force, never being willing to spend his political capital to help his friends and in some cases helping empower the very Globalists he claims to oppose.

In fact, I rather like Bannon who has his roguish charm. I am proud to write for Breitbart and I did his SIRIUS radio show many times. His Libertarian-tinged world view is much like mine, yet we both understand the threat of Islamic terrorism and the consequences of open borders.

I even named Steve one of the Ten Worst Dressed Men in the World in the 2015 Mr. Stone’s International Best and Worst Dressed List. The tradition of the list was picked up from the late Mr. Blackwell and it’s now in its eleventh year. Bannon was so proud of the award that he forwarded the link to his friends.

It is more in sadness than in anger that I conclude that Steve Bannon has failed to look out for the Trump constituency, while establishment “never Trumpers ” line up for cushy jobs and prestigious ambassadorships. Not understanding that “personnel is policy”, Bannon refused to fight for any of his allies or those who helped get Trump elected. It’s as if Steve felt the grubby business of patronage was below him.

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Self-promotion and ham-handed leaking have hurt Steve badly in the Trump orbit. There is no Karl Rove in Trump-World. Trump is his own man. He is not handled or managed and hates it when subordinates try to do so. He is his own strategist and correctly resents when others take credit for the historic strategy and win, that is really his alone. I don’t deny that I have been honored to be along for the ride and that the President does listen to opinions, as he always has, but at the end of the day no one puts ideas in Donald Trump’s head or words in his mouth.

The President is very angry about Bannon’s vanity biography “Devil’s Bargain”, the subtitle of which is “Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and The Storming of the Presidency.” Every other page is a love letter to the brilliance of Steven K. Bannon.

In all fairness, all of the key elements of the message that elected Trump had been chosen and defined by Trump himself long before Mr. Bannon arrived at the Trump campaign for the final weeks of the campaign.

The able Sam Nunberg worked diligently with candidate Trump to help him package his views during the earliest stages of the campaign and Trump road-tested these themes and honed them. He never deviated from these core messages; the dangers of our immigration system and the Wall; the inequities at NATO; our flawed international trade deals that he saw destroying the American job market; the abuses of America by the Chinese, fixing our broken Veteran’s healthcare system; opposition to costly foreign wars where the national interest is not absolutely clear. These were all planks in the Trump platform before Steve showed up.

Ironically Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Jared and Ivanka followed the exact strategy laid out by Paul Manafort before he left, which was coaxing the candidate to give a few speeches from the teleprompter where the facile Steven Miller was able to give Trump some rhetorical flourishes in expressing his chosen themes.  It is important to remember that the message came from Trump not Bannon. A recent piece in the Spectator claiming it was “Bannon’s campaign” is just wrong. It was always Trump’s campaign. 

While Bannon bitched about Priebus privately he worked as a partner with the former Republican National Chairman including an embarrassing “Abbott and Costello” act at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference held yearly outside of Washington in which Bannon covered Priebus’ ass and they lavished each other with wet kisses. Meanwhile, no Trump campaign veterans were being hired in the Trump White House.

But it’s far worse than this.

Bannon engineered the ascent of Rex Tillerson at State despite the fact that Tillerson’s patron and chief influence is non-other than Condoleezza Rice, the neocon former Bush NSA Director and cheerleader for the Iraq war. Documents which leaked from the Presidential transition proved that Rice was Tillerson’s advocate and that several other staffers she recommended where quickly hired at State. Perhaps this is why Politico correctly tabbed the rise of veteran Romney-ites at State. The Trump State Department has failed to excise the Soros control of a number of U.S. embassies and is currently leaning on the Hungarian government not to impede Soros toppling of that democratically elected government. Bannon delivered the Trump State Department into the hands of the Globalists.

While Bannon chafed with the influence of Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, he would never oppose him frontally and he never even lifted a finger against the appointment of quislings like Dina Habib Powell and Goldman Sachs’ Gary Cohn.

Bannon failed to push the President to use his most potent rhetorical and political weapon-Term Limits -in his current fight with the Congress. Bannon did nothing to dissuade the President from endorsing Mitch McConnell’s candidate in the Alabama Special Election primary which sent the clear signal to Republicans in Congress that you can thwart the President and there are no consequences.

Bannon has also failed to tell the President about the single most potent weapon he has; FISA Court certification that Obama’s NSA actively, illegally and unconstitutionally spied at least on 30,000 Americans for purposes of political espionage. These indictable offenses and their prosecution is the key to derailing the Deep State coup unfolding before our eyes, yet Bannon never mentioned the FISA ruling to the President.

When Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was a strong and articulate supporter of the President and his criticism of our current Immigration policies, was indicted for civil rights violations of prisoners in his custody the Obama Justice Department made certain he was tried under the wrong statue to deny him a jury trial. The Justice Department illegally monitored the Sheriffs communication with his lawyer as well as improperly communicating directly with the judge during his trial Arpaio’s prosecution is a political hit job and the government’s misconduct in his prosecution are certainly grounds for dismissal by the Trump Justice Department. Steve Bannon never mentioned the case to President who was shocked to learn about Arpaio’s conviction when he didn’t know about his trial. All of Arpaio’s phone calls to Bannon to protest his treatment by the Trump Justice Department went unanswered. 

During the campaign for President Donald Trump said “I love WikiLeaks.” Both the President and Steve Bannon know that no evidence exists that proves that Julian Assange is an agent of the Russians as our intelligence services insist mindlessly without evidence. In fact, Julian Assange is simply a journalist who is neither of left or right but who is appalled by the massive excesses and widespread violations of civil liberties that he has exposed through WikiLeaks. It is important to note that unlike the New York Times or the Washington Post no one has ever disputed the accuracy or authenticity of the material Assange and his associates have published. Just like the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case or the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, Assange publishes information supplied to him by whistleblowers and other sources and the publication of this information is fully legal and within the traditions of American journalism.

The completely bogus charges of sexual assault against Assange in Sweden have fallen away, an obvious frame job called a “Honeytrap”, which is a classic in British Intelligence history. Now, however, due to the harping of CIA Director Mike Pompeo ,the Trump Justice Department has convened a Secret Grand Jury to fabricate a criminal charge against Assange in the United States, despite the fact that Assange has violated no law and the US Intelligence services can’t prove he is in the service of the Russians .Yet Steve Bannon has never urged the President to stop the outrageous investigation and potential prosecution of the WikiLeaks publisher- a case of a publisher (Breitbart) ignoring the plight of a publisher (Wikileaks)

The Bundys , the last of the ranchers working federal land in Clark County Nevada and their supporters have languished in a squalid Nevada jail for 18 months, denied pre-trial release even though none have any prior criminal history. When the Bundy Family fell behind in payments to the BLM, the government launched a deadly Waco-like assault on the family farm with snipers, police dogs and SWAT teams.  All of this was after the Clark County Sheriff called by phone to tell Mrs. Bundy the FEDS had decide to stand down. The potentially deadly assault came seconds after she hung up.

Their first trial deadlocked. Now the Government is taking no chances, the Judge who won’t release the men to their families, has ruled out the use of first, second or fourth amendment defenses. Judge Gloria Navarro, a Harry Reid picked Judge appointed by Clinton won’t allow them to call witnesses for their defense. She won’t allow the playing of the BLM radio transmission recording where the order is given to shoot and ask questions later. Has Steve Bannon brought up a review of the case and a Presidential Pardon for the Bundy’s with the President? Not a chance.

Tough talking Anthony Scaramucci, whom I like and whom I think was treated rather shabbily, was, as I said, a political suicide bomber. He took out two RINOS: Preibus and Spicer. For this alone he should be lauded. Bannon was too busy covering for the hapless Priebus.

But Anthony’s access to the President was a problem for the Generals with McMaster (who really is a dead ringer for the late Don Rickles), Gen. John Kelly (who reminds me of Al “I’m in charge here” Haig) and Gen. Mad-dog Mattis, the first non-civilian Defense Secretary in modern times forming a triumvirate of control.

Bannon helped the Generals oust Anthony Scaramucci. Someone told the President “the Mooch” had drug issues, ignoring that Scaramucci had to pass two drug tests to work in the White House. Then he was out! The brash New Yorker’s access to the President was a threat to the Generals.

Now it’s Bannon’s access to POTUS that is threatening to the Seven Days in May crowd. Kelly is tightening his grip. Now even Jared and Ivanka must go through Kelly to see the president and neither is allowed to meet with him alone. Cabinet members who call the President are forwarded to General Kelly. Kelly thinks Bannon’s ideas are naïve and too “far-out’ and blames Bannon for the recent Breibart attacks on McMaster. Now it’s Bannon the Generals want out.

There is no reason for conservatives to be upset about the coming purge of Steve Bannon. He did a lot to help himself but not much to help us.