White House chief strategist, Stephen Bannon’s fate at the White House remains up in the air – as White House insiders are urging Trump to fire his advisor.
Bannon 63, had mentioned since the day of his appointment that he had never expected to last in his current position for any longer than eight months. He had recently come under scrutiny for his alleged role in crafting Trump’s response to the Charlottesville Disaster. It is rumored that Bannon warned the President not to “criticize far-right activists,” for risk of destroying his base.
The New York Times reported that, “Despite his marginalization, Mr. Bannon consulted the president repeatedly over the weekend as Mr. Trump struggled to respond to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va. In general, Mr. Bannon has cautioned the president not to criticize far-right activists too severely for fear of antagonizing a small but energetic part of his base.”
As Bannon’s presence is adding ammo for the many liberal and mainstream media critics of the President, there are also much more powerful voices calling for Trump to dump Bannon. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News, advised the President to fire of Bannon.
At a recent dinner with Murdoch, and Jared Kushner, Murdoch attacked Bannon and demanded that Trump fire his chief strategist. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Trump offered little pushback, according to a person familiar with the conversation, and vented his frustrations about Mr. Bannon. Mr. Murdoch is close to Mr. Kushner, who has been in open warfare with Mr. Bannon since the spring.”
However, Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows came to the defense of Bannon, warning President Trump that, “there is a concern among conservatives that Washington, D.C., will influence the president in a way that moves him away from those voters that put him in the White House.”
However, Mark Salter, an adviser to Senator John McCain, called Bannon’s sanity and usefulness into question, saying, “I don’t think that White House has a chance of functioning properly as long as there’s a resident lunatic fringe.”
Even Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has continued to campaign for Bannon’s firing, arguing that Bannon is keeping Trump from being accepted by the mainstream. Scaramucci noted that Trump has, “ got to move more into the mainstream, he’s got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents are.”
Scaramucci continued, “I think people are probably reluctant to tell him the truth. Maybe Ivanka would do that — you saw her tweet this morning. Maybe Jared would do that. But you also got this sort of ‘Bannonbart’ influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president. If the president really wants to execute that legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people, the lower-middle-class people and the middle-class people, then he has to move away from that sort of Bannonbart nonsense,” Scaramucci added.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is in perfect agreement with McCain, Scaramucci, Kushner and Murdoch. In a recent media appearance, she noted that, “If the president is sincere about rejecting white supremacists, he should remove all doubt by firing Steve Bannon and the other alt-right white supremacist sympathizers in the White House. “
Back in November, Pelosi had argued, “Bringing Steve Bannon into the White House is an alarming signal that President-elect Trump remains committed to the hateful and divisive vision that defined his campaign.” And that, “There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump administration.”