Bannon Appears to Be in Trump's Doghouse
CBS says he could be out this week, while NYT says he's in 'internal exile'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 11:30 AM CDT
Reports about Steve Bannon suggest that his days are numbered at the White House.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – "The Mooch" thinks Steve Bannon should be fired, but does President Trump agree? That seems to be a big topic of conversation in DC, and multiple reports suggest that the senior White House adviser may not have much time left in his post. CBS News, for example, reports that Bannon could be gone by the end of the week, though the story (based on anonymous sources) also points out that Bannon has survived similar apparent low points with the president. Now, however, it seems that his friction with chief of staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, in addition to his ties to the alt-right movement, are taking a toll. Coverage:

  • Limbo: The most in-depth take comes from the New York Times, which says Bannon is in a "kind of internal exile" in the West Wing and hasn't met in person with Trump in more than a week. The story is jammed with nuggets, including that Bannon has long told associates he figured he'd last maybe eight months to a year, as well as that Trump didn't push back much when Rupert Murdoch told him during a recent dinner that Bannon must go. Kelly and Jared Kushner also were present at that dinner.
  • Alt-right: Bannon consulted with the president over the weekend and advised him not to criticize white nationalists too severely after the violence in Charlottesville, per the Times. Trump took that approach, and he faced a torrent of criticism as a result.

  • Public slams: In the wake of Charlottesville, Nancy Pelosi is calling for Trump to fire Bannon, reports ABC News. And the heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian, and progressive House caucuses have written a letter to Trump urging the same, reports the AP. GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo told CNN that it's clear Bannon and fellow Trump aide Stephen Miller think alt-right groups "should be accommodated" and that Trump should stop listening to them.
  • McMaster: The national security official is apparently not populist enough for Bannon's taste. Axios reports that Trump thinks Bannon has been the source of leaks about McMaster, a development that has put Bannon's job in peril. The post notes that Trump doesn't like firing people but that Kelly, who by most accounts doesn't like Bannon's tactics, has the authority to clean house. Over the weekend, McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he can work with Bannon, and Politico has details.
  • Consequences? NPR talks to Chris Buskirk of the site American Greatness. He knows Bannon and warns that if Bannon is forced out of the White House, it could "dangerously undermine the president's support with his base." Buskirk says that would pose a greater risk to a successful presidency for Trump than Robert Mueller's investigation. If Bannon leaves of his own accord, however, that's a different story.

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