US Pres. Donald Trump managed to portray Bannon in a brief statement as someone ineffective, on thin ice, and unimportant. A week ago, the president was seen distancing himself from Steve Bannon, chief strategist of the White House.
Bannon was said to be clashing with top administration officials, which is why the President is backing away from him.
On Tuesday, the reports were confirmed and Pres. Donald Trump himself reaffirmed the growing suspicion.
In an interview, Micheal Goodwin of the New York Post asked Pres. Trump if there is still an ounce of confidence left in him for Bannon. Goodwin writes: “I did not receive a definitive yes.”
Far from it instead. In four revealing and remarkable sentences, the President managed to minimize the role of Bannon in his campaign, betray the sensitivity of the President Bannon narrative, confirm reports of infighting within the administration, and issue an ultimatum.
In the interview, Pres. Trump said that he likes Steve but one has to remember the fact that he was not very involved during the campaign period until very late in the game.
“I’ve beaten all the governors and senators, and I did not know Steve,” said Trump to Goodwin.
In a way to betray the sensitivity of the narrative, “President Bannon,” Pres. Trump said that he is his own strategist. He also said that he will not change his strategies just because he was facing “crooked” Hillary. This statement is similar to the tweets that the President sent in February. It was when the media portrayed Steve Bannon as the one who is calling the shots in the White House. According to Trump, he is calling his own shots.
Although Trump did not say directly there was infighting within the administration, the President told Goodwin that Steve is a “good guy,” but has to straighten his relationships with everyone else in the White House or the acting president will be forced to do something. Bannon is reportedly having a feud with the presidential son-in-law and senior adviser of the White House, Jared Kushner. Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said that the reports about the issue are overblown.
Generally, managers deal with intense staffing fighting in private. Again, in politics, it’s common to proclaim full confidence in an adviser publicly until that person is fired. In the case of Trump and Bannon, the President is telling the entire world that Steve Bannon is currently on thin ice. Of course, the allies of Bannon are responding in a manner that can be expected. The close friends of Bannon, as Mike Allen of Axios said, are distraught.
Clearly, things are not going great for Bannon. As a matter of fact, they look grim. Bannon may still hang on, but there is a good chance that his authority will be dramatically undercut. After all, a staffer of the White House is only powerful and strong if everyone thinks that the person is speaking on behalf of the President.