“’The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,’ Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. ‘We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.’”
… Bannon may have resigned, but it was clear from the time that Kelly became chief of staff that Bannon’s remaining time in the West Wing was going to be short. Kelly undertook a study of the West Wing’s operating system, and let it be known that he kept hearing about Bannon as a disruptive force and a source of leaks aimed at undermining his rivals. One of those, with whom Kelly is deeply in sympathy, is National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, who clashed forcefully with Bannon over such policies as strategy for the war in Afghanistan.
It is plainly Bannon’s view that his departure is not a defeat for him personally, but for the ideology he’d urged upon the president, as reflected in Trump’s provocative inaugural address—in which he spoke of self-dealing Washington politicians, and their policies that led to the shuttered factories and broken lives of what he called “American carnage.” Bannon co-authored that speech (and privately complained that it had been toned down by West Wing moderates like Ivanka and Jared)…
The writing’s on the wall, Deplorables. As Steve Bannon goes, so goes the promise of America First.
Bannon says that he once confidently believed in the prospect of success for that version of the Trump presidency he now says is over. Asked what the turning point was, he says, “It’s the Republican establishment. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success on this. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his program. Zero. It was a half-hearted attempt at Obamacare reform, it was no interest really on the infrastructure, they’ll do a very standard Republican version of taxes.
“What Trump ran on—border wall, where is the funding for the border wall, one of his central tenets, where have they been? Have they rallied around the Perdue-Cotton immigration bill? On what element of Trump’s program, besides tax cuts—which is going to be the standard marginal tax cut—where have they rallied to Trump’s cause? They haven’t.”
Bannon believes that those who will now try to influence Trump will hope to turn him in a sharply different direction.
“I think they’re going to try to moderate him,” he says. “I think he’ll sign a clean debt ceiling, I think you’ll see all this stuff. His natural tendency—and I think you saw it this week on Charlottesville—his actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you’re going to see a lot of constraints on that. I think it’ll be much more conventional.”
MORE: “Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over.‘”
UPDATE I (8/19):
UPDATE II (8/21):
UPDATE III (8/22): Rationalization is a defense mechanism, in this case against disappointment. Steve Bannon said the presidency was over. Believe him.
“Trump has systematically elevated outsiders in his operation while alienating or firing allies like Bannon and Priebus.”
More ridiculousness from The Donald: