Aug 18, 2017

Bannon is back at Breitbart

Evan Vucci / AP

Fresh off his White House exit, Steve Bannon is back at Breitbart News.

Why it matters, as Axios' Jonathan Swan reported earlier, Bannon has told associates Breitbart is his "killing machine" and that he's ready to go "thermonuclear" with the "globalists" upon his exit from the White House.

  • "The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today... Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda," Per Breitbart editor Alex Marlow.
  • Magnitude: As far as information traveling goes, Breitbart beat out Fox News by about three times, according to Harvard's Yochai Benkler and MIT's Ethan Zuckerman. Read more via NYT Magazine.

Keep in mind Bannon's past leadership at Breitbart, as NYT's Michael R. Grynbaum and Jeremy W. Peters write: "Bannon's tenure as chairman of Breitbart coincided with the site's move to the epicenter of the nationalist brand of right-wing conservatism that swept Mr. Trump into office last year."

Flashback to Bannon striking out at the media while serving under Trump, calling it "the opposition party," and telling the media to "keep its mouth shut."

Go deeper on Bannon's departure with Jonathan Swan, here.

Go deeper

Grassley to hold up pair of nominations until Trump explains IG firings

Grassley questions Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 3 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Thursday that he will block the confirmation of two of President Trump's nominees until the White House provides "adequate explanations" for why the inspectors general for the intelligence community and State Department were ousted in the past two months.

Why it matters: It's a rare attempt by a Republican to hold Trump accountable for his recent purge of federal watchdogs. Grassley has long considered himself a defender of inspectors general.

John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."