by WorldTribune Staff, August 18, 2017
All week, DrudgeReport.com has conducted a death-watch on White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and for weeks his imminent departure has been trumpeted by a Trump-obsessed national media.
Then, today, in a rare tweet, Drudge posted Bannon’s political obituary after “one hell of a run.”
From Obama-era holdovers at the National Security Council (NSC) intent on short-circuiting his foreign policy to stock market unease over rumored upheaval in the Cabinet, President Donald Trump has been buffeted this week by storm winds from the “swamp” as the nation’s capital has become known by Trump’s supporters.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, in an interview with Fox News warned that the Trump administration is facing a moment of truth: “I think he’s in a position right now where he’s much more isolated than he realizes.”
Bannon has been criticized by Conservatives for not bringing natural Trump allies into the administration and has been a lightening rod for attacks by the anti-Trump “mainstream media.”
“Steve has been fighting tooth and nail on every internal policy debate and won more than he lost,” a Washington insider who has worked in an unofficial capacity with the White House this year told WorldTribune.
“With Steve Bannon gone, we have nobody at the table,” he lamented.
There remain some 40 Obama holdovers at the NSC, according to The Daily Caller.
“The problem is the allegiance they have to their former administration and their position and stances on national security,” said (Ret.) Col. James Waurishuk, a 30-year veteran senior intelligence official and a former NSC official. “It’s crazy when they represent pretty much 180 degrees of what Trump is trying to do.”
Some blame national security adviser H.R. McMaster for the holdovers. “He has protected and coddled them,” one former NSC staffer, who requested anonymity, told the Daily Caller.
On Aug. 17, the Dow closed off 274 points at 21,750, its worst day in three months.
Analysts say the markets are worried Trump’s top advisers and Cabinet members, key among them Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, may be set to depart the administration which would be a major blow to Trump’s economic agenda, particularly tax reform.
“For the first time, people are now questioning if he can get anything done policy-wise. His agenda is under threat,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.
Yale University management expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said on CNBC on Aug. 17 that Cohn is so key, his departure could “crash the markets.”
“I don’t want to be an alarmist, but there is a lot of faith that he is going to help carry through the tax reform that people are looking for,” Sonnenfeld said on “Squawk Box.”
Former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview published on Aug. 17 that if he could give Trump one piece of advice, it would be to step down.
Gore was asked the question during an interview with the website LADbible.
“Resign,” Gore responded.
The failed 2000 Democratic presidential nominee said last month that Trump’s climate policies have created “the biggest upsurge of activism in favor of the climate that we have ever experienced.”
Meanwhile, columnist and longtime political operator Roger Stone, writing for the Daily Caller on Aug. 17, addressed the fate of chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“I am one who had publicly defended Bannon from false charges of racism and anti-Semitism yet I have concluded he is a spent force, never being willing to spend his political capital to help his friends and in some cases helping empower the very globalists he claims to oppose,” Stone wrote.
“It is more in sadness than in anger that I conclude that Steve Bannon has failed to look out for the Trump constituency, while establishment ‘never Trumpers’ line up for cushy jobs and prestigious ambassadorships. Not understanding that ‘personnel is policy’, Bannon refused to fight for any of his allies or those who helped get Trump elected. It’s as if Steve felt the grubby business of patronage was below him.”
Stone continued: “There is no Karl Rove in Trump-World. Trump is his own man. He is not handled or managed and hates it when subordinates try to do so. He is his own strategist and correctly resents when others take credit for the historic strategy and win, that is really his alone. I don’t deny that I have been honored to be along for the ride and that the President does listen to opinions, as he always has, but at the end of the day no one puts ideas in Donald Trump’s head or words in his mouth.”