by WorldTribune Staff, April 12, 2017
Steve Bannon has become isolated in the West Wing as centrists ascend in President Donald Trump’s White House, analysts say.
Bannon’s allies are concerned the chief strategist “is about to be pushed out,” following the posting of an interview with Trump by New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin that was headlined “Trump won’t definitively say he still backs Bannon.”
“The tide appears to be turning,” a former conservative media colleague of Bannon said in expressing concerns about the president’s lukewarm comments about his controversial strategist and the very limited number of conservative allies Bannon has in the White House.
Axios analyst Jonathan Swan noted that “if Bannon goes, there’s no one of similar status in the White House who has the status to push the nationalist agenda to Trump – and more centrist figures are already ascendant (Jivanka, Gary Cohn). Without Bannon’s voice, this becomes a much more conventional White House. It would be an acute normalizing of the staff, although no one can normalize Trump.”
In the interview with Goodwin, Trump said: “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late … 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. … Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”
Swan went on to say that allies of Bannon both inside and outside the White House “were taken by surprise when Goodwin’s column posted, and are distraught,” adding that Bannon’s supporters “are bitter about the role they believe economic adviser Gary Cohn has played in undercutting their guy to POTUS. In private conversations, they call him ‘Globalist Gary.’ ”
Trump was not happy with stories about Bannon as the “Svengali”, or planted stories that the president blamed Bannon for, Axios reported. It was less than 10 weeks ago that Bannon appeared on the cover of TIME as “THE GREAT MANIPULATOR,” with the inside story asking if he was “the Second Most Powerful Man in the World.”
While Axios notes that Bannon “did little to build alliances and a personal retinue within the White House, while his rivals did the opposite,” it added that Trump is taking a huge risk in alienating the GOP base which “remains very attached to Bannon, and would go crazy if he were axed. And does the president lose his psychic connection to the issue palette that helped put him in power?”