In recent weeks, following a trail of tumultuous times and amidst the controversy over the Charlottesville tragedy, the white house finally decided to officially let go Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
Conflicting information about the reasons behind his departure may have been considered controversial for previous administrations since sources are still unclear on the matter. Some say the decision was made by Bannon two weeks before the official statement, while others imply that this was a result of the former White House Chief Strategist being perceived as the one pulling the strings and his ties to the alt-right during Charlottesville.
But since this all took place mere weeks after Sean Spicer resignation as White House press secretary, Reince Priebus replacement as chief of staff and the 10 day sprint of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, it all seems just another week in the Trump administration.
Nevertheless, the impact of Steve Bannon’s departure is bound to be felt in a greater way due to the nature of his role as key advisor during both the campaign trail and the first months of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
Beginning on August 2016, Bannon is named chief executive for the Trump campaign after months proving his loyalty by attacking the Republican establishment, immigrants and promoting white nationalism through Breitbart News where he was at the helm as executive chairman.
Not only did this help boost Trump’s numbers in the polls, but the master plan of “Let Trump be Trump” was very much in line with the Republican candidate.
Fast-forward to November, Donald Trump wins the presidential election and names Bannon as Chief Strategist for his administration, creating an immediate backlash from anti-discrimination groups and democrats.
Outraged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked in a speech on the senate floor: “By placing a champion of white supremacists a step away from the Oval Office, what message does Trump send to the young girl who woke up Wednesday afraid to be a woman of color in America?”
Despite the criticism Trump defended Bannon in a meeting at Trump Tower with journalists who questioned the new chief strategist inclination for white nationalism during his time at Breitbart saying: “I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him”.
But Bannon himself seemed ok with the image created by the media for him, stating in an interview with THR: “Darkness is good,” he said. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”
As time went by and with rumors of the infamous January travel ban being a decision mainly made by Trump’s Senior White House Advisor, tensions started to grow inside the administration suggesting that the president wasn’t fond of the fact that the spotlight was not on him. This, along with other controversies (including rumours of Russian cyber hacking via VPN usage and virtual data rooms), created a tumultuous environment for the White House.
This was only made worse when Bannon made the February cover of TIME magazine with the headline: “The Great Manipulator.” With the inside article asking the question: “Is Steve Bannon the Second Most Powerful Man in the World?”
Amidst the wave of mockery and disapproval of the idea that Bannon might be the true head of state, Trump makes his first move towards distancing himself from his Senior Advisor in April by removing him from his role on the NSC’s Principals Committee, and then downplaying his role in his campaign during the 2016 elections.
In an interview with the New York Post Trump expressed: “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” He assured. “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.”
Then in July PenguinRandomHouse publishes “Devil’s Bargain” a book about Bannon’s role and influence in Trump’s campaign and the biggest political upset in recent history. Between this and recent suspicion of Bannon leaking information to the reporters it was easy to see the end was near.
The last straw came when President Trump tried with little success to make a statement denouncing the white supremacists and alt-right hate groups protests in Charlottesville that resulted in one death and several injured.
When the press inevitably asked about the future of Steve Bannon in the current administration, the president responded: “Well, we’ll see … Look, look, I like Mr. Bannon. He is a friend of mine.” Then he added, “He is a good man. He is not a racist. I can tell you that. He is a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”
A day later and seemingly accepting his fate, an unrepentant Steve Bannon, as the title of The Prospect article suggests, refers to white supremacists as “a collection of clowns” and warns that an “economic war with China” has already begun among other things.
But perhaps the most interesting bit of information is regarding his view on democrats and how he was able to get the upper hand on the election cycle concentrating in “economic promises”. “The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
This may seem like an insignificant detail, but on the other hand, this was a big part of the strategy that got Donald Trump in the White House, and it is all based on Bannon’s ideas and years of ground work on Britebart. So what happens now that Trumps key advisor is out? Will he turn on Trump? And will his absence have an impact on the direction of the current administration politics and key demographics?
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