Amid looming reports of infighting in the White House, President Trump has now openly undercut White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s influence with him in an interview with the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin on Tuesday.
“When I asked the president Tuesday afternoon if he still has confidence in Bannon, who took over the campaign in mid-August, I did not get a definitive yes.
‘I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,’ Trump said. ‘I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.’
He ended by saying, ‘Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.’”
Another report from by the New York Times indicates that Bannon is on thin ice with the president, continually losing influence within the administration. These developments follow a rocky couple of months between populist Bannon and several Trump associates, including establishment Republicans such as Reince Priebus and Trump’s “liberal Democrat” son-in-law Jared Kushner, who’s influence with the President has been steadily growing, much to Bannon’s disliking.
Rumors of infighting between Bannon and Priebus have been circulating since day one, apparently battling to be the president’s go-to guy on policy decisions. Though, recently, Bannon has had his share of drama with Kushner, who he has reportedly called a “cuck” and “globalist” behind his back after reports came out declaring that Kushner has tried to influence Trump into lessening Bannon’s role in the White House.
Last week, reports came out regarding rumors that Trump was considering firing both Bannon and Priebus, though this was likely a warning shot to the parties to get their act together.
After recently being removed from the National Security Council, Bannon has seemingly become aware of President Trump’s weening trust and has started keeping a low-profile in the White House, trying to avoid any conflicts that would possibly toss him on the chopping block. He’s reported to have said he needs to pick his battles more carefully and refrain from throwing bombs around carelessly.
Knowing Bannon’s hell-raising attitude, I don’t know how long that will last.