Steve Bannon Out at Breitbart News
Fire and fury came home to roost for Bannon, an extremist right-wing ideologue, former Trump administration chief strategist, Goldman Sachs alum.
Whether or not he was quoted accurately in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book doesn’t matter.
The appearance of accuracy and his belated, less than convincing, mea culpa doomed him – along with a tumultuous one-year association with Trump (August 2016 – August 2017).
His mea culpa stopped short of explicitly saying Wolff misquoted him. Saying his “treasonous (and) unpatriotic” remark was meant for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort, not Donald Trump Jr., was unconvincing.
Calling Trump’s son “a patriot and a good man…relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around” was too little, too late.
Spilled milk was beyond reversal. Asked if his mea culpa changed things, deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said “I don’t believe there’s any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point.”
He alienated Trump and administration officials. Most important, his key billionaire Mercer family backer wanted him out.
His future remains uncertain, perhaps able to parlay his high-profile persona to the well-paid lecture circuit or become involved in a new business venture.
Entrepreneurial backers could be hard to find now that he’s damaged goods.
He picked the wrong fight with the wrong targets. Red meat for Wolff was his undoing.
Breitbart News broke the story, saying Bannon stepped down…as Executive Chairman,” quoting him saying:
“I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”
Breitbart CEO Larry Solov called Bannon “a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.”
His fall from grace is a fait accompli – end of story for now, a new chapter yet to be written. Bannon went from key administration official to “sloppy Steve.”
Predictions of him retaining White House influence from outside its confines proved false. His failed Roy Moore Alabama senatorial campaign was another nail in his political coffin.
His SiriusXM radio show was cancelled. His career’s high point was helping Trump get elected president and being appointed administration chief strategist.
His place in the sun was short-lived, banished by Trump after a one-year association, seven months close to the seat of power.
Clashing with Trump’s eldest daughter and son-in-law cost him his White House position, critical remarks quoted in Wolff’s book his coup de gras.
Trump told administration officials and GOP lawmakers to choose between him “or Steve” – an easy choice. Bannon was largely abandoned.
An unnamed White House source said “…I can’t believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He’s done.”
An unnamed former White House ally added “I’ve gone from being sympathetic to Steve to believing he’s a genuinely bad guy, totally duplicitous. It’s a shame. He has a lot of talent. But his self-destructive streak is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
Politics isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t ping pong, as a former observer once said.
Harry Truman explained the rough-and-tumble environment of the nation’s capital, saying: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."