Where does Bannon go next? What will his allies in the White House do? How will the Democrats respond?

Curt Mills
August 18, 2017
The Natonal Interest

The former White House chief strategist concluded his tenure Friday with the president almost a year to the day that he took over the then-Republican nominee’s beleaguered campaign. Judging by the social-media activity of some of his old colleagues at Breitbart News, he may return to that outlet and launch a full-scale offensive against his old enemies in the White House: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Gary Cohn, H. R. McMaster and national security official Dina Powell. He may also become involved in leading a new, well-funded venture backed by the powerful Mercer family.

Whether this means Bannon, and the national populist movement that reveres him, is actually done with this president is less clear. It’s entirely possible Friday’s news could be looked back on as a positive turning point for the anti-establishment forces that got Trump elected president. Bannon, “unchained,” could be more valuable to the president as a firebreather on the outside than as an inexperienced government hand that offends swath of Trump’s family on the inside. It’s perhaps underemphasized, but in the eight months as the president’s off-and-on Svengali, Bannon’s personal record of directly delivering legislative achievements was lacking. He notably failed to persuade the hard-right House Freedom Caucus to play ball on health care in one particularly brutal March exchange. Writer Yashar Ali floats the possibility that Bannon could become Trump’s Dick Morris, potentially covertly saving Trump’s presidency at a dark early hour just as the controversial New York political consultant did for Bill Clinton. Roger Stone, another colorful political consultant (who sometimes has Trump’s ear and also used to work for him), laid out the case earlier this week in the Daily Caller that Bannon was essentially self-serving in the White House and it was time for him to go. Stone was quick to make the point he was by no means on the side of establishment forces like McMaster, either.

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