Hey—you heard about the good news? Word on the White House streets is that “alt-right” white supremacist fanboy and self-proclaimed “economic nationalist” Steve Bannon might be out of President Donald Trump’s inner circle and (hopefully) the White House altogether as Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, consolidates power.
The Wall Street Journal first raised the possibility Friday, reporting that both Bannon and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus might be relieved of their current roles—Priebus because of the rocky first 100 days of Trump’s presidency; Bannon because of West Wing infighting with Kushner and top economic adviser Gary Cohn, who may be up for Priebus’ job.
As further evidence of Bannon’s fall from grace, CNN noted that during Trump’s dinner with President Xi Jinping of China, the table seating may have indicated a “telling tableau.”
Kushner was seated next to Jinping’s wife—two seats down from Trump himself—while Bannon was seated further down, “sandwiched between two Chinese officials.”
The tea? While Bannon still has a seat at the table, his position seems to be slipping.
This week, Bannon lost his position on the National Security Council, to the relief of many, who see the former editor of the far-right news outlet Breitbart as a radical, racist and sexist puppet master who knows no good. CNN reports that it was Kushner who made that happen.
Al-Jazeera outlined three repercussions of Bannon being off the NSC:
First, Bannon’s ousting will ultimately disengage populism from national security policy and will create a dividing line between Trump’s domestic political turmoil and his foreign policy.
Second, the national security establishment that Trump has long criticized is gradually turning the White House into a conventional U.S. administration.
Third, we no longer have a separation between national and homeland security that has misguided Trump’s campaign narrative …”
The White House, of course, denies that Bannon (or Priebus) is going anywhere and issued a statement Friday night, according to CNN. From White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters:
Once again, this is a completely false story driven by people who want to distract from the success taking place in this administration. The president’s pick for the Supreme Court (a decision that has generational impact) was confirmed today, we hosted multiple foreign leaders this week and the president took bold and decisive military action against Syria last night. The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates as we push the president’s aggressive agenda forward.
We shall see. But when there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. And hopefully fired.