Steve Bannon Made a Big Mistake With Trump

He forgot who was the 'boss' and who was the 'underling,' writes one analyst. So what's next?
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2018 10:46 AM CST
What's Next for Steve Bannon?
Steve Bannon's next move is unclear.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Now that he's out of the White House, lost his main financial backer, and been ousted from Breitbart News, what comes next for Steve Bannon? That remained very much unclear on Wednesday, although one thing was clarified: "Fox News will not be hiring Steve Bannon," a network spokesperson tells the Hill. That's not a huge surprise, notes Adweek, which points out a passage in the new book by Michael Wolff (a co-founder of Newser) that makes clear Bannon and Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch are not on great terms—"not least because Murdoch had Donald Trump's ear." Bannon reportedly doesn't think Murdoch understands US politics and told Trump as much. More on the Bannon fallout:

  • The midterms: Bannon had vowed to lead a slate of anti-establishment candidates into office this year, "but it's unclear—and unlikely—that Bannon could continue to be a player in politics during this year's midterms without major donors behind him and after being disavowed by the president, writes Rosie Gray at the Atlantic. What's more, Bannon also has lost his radio show on SiriusXM, because the company's contract was with Breitbart, not Bannon.
  • His mistake: At CNN, Chris Cillizza thinks Bannon made one huge mistake in regard to Trump, who brought him from the political fringe to the White House. "Somewhere along the way, Bannon forgot that Trump was the boss and he was the underling," writes Cillizza. "Everything that happened after that was sadly predictable."

  • Next step: “I don't think he'll be quiet or silent for very long,” former Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella tells Callum Borchers of the Washington Post. "Accepting fate or defeat is not in his DNA. ... He will try and reinvent himself. He will try and finish what he started.” Bannon could try a media venture of his own or perhaps go back to making documentaries, though his split with the Mercers makes that difficult, writes Borchers.
  • New nonprofit? The Daily Beast quotes three sources close to Bannon who say he plans to launch a "dark money" nonprofit organization that will focus on issues such as US policy toward China, immigration, and foreign trade. The story also describes Bannon as being in "denial" as the fallout over his comments to Michael Wolff about the Trumps escalated.
  • Easy choice: Jonathan Swan of Axios writes that Trump "forced everyone inside and close to the White House to make a binary choice: 'It's me or Steve.'" Just about everybody chose Trump, including some of Bannon's closest allies.
  • Pleased: The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal sounds pretty happy with the turn of events: "Now Bannonism is a cause without a President or even a website, and Mr. Trump is inviting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Camp David to plot political strategy. Anything can happen in the Trump Presidency, and it already has."
  • One more turn: The New York Daily News takes a look at Bannon's "bouncing career," including stints in the entertainment industry and with an odd "biosphere" project before he turned to politics.
  • Breitbart's fate: Losing its "public face" in Bannon is rough for Breitbart News, writes Gerry Smith at Bloomberg. Revenue and traffic already were down as alt-right competitors sprang up, and this will only intensify that.
(More Steve Bannon stories.)

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