Aug 17, 2017

Bannon's 7 months of self-destruction

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

In chief strategist Steve Bannon, to steal the words from the song in "Hamilton" fittingly called "Burn," Trump has married an Icarus, who has flown too close to the sun.

  • Bannon saw Trump's now-infamous press conference not as the lowest point in his presidency, but as a "defining moment," where Trump decided to fully abandon the "globalists" and side with "his people."
  • Per a source: "Steve was proud of how [Trump] stood up to the braying mob of reporters."

Then last night, the liberal American Prospect posted an interview with Bannon that he clearly didn't think was an interview:

  • Bannon ... admired the author's stance on China, and so called the journalist, Robert Kuttner, ... to discuss his piece. Apparently Bannon never thought that the journalist might take his (very newsworthy) comments and turn them into a story. It's Anthony Scaramucci all over again (minus the curse words.)
  • AP: Bannon told Kuttner that "there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea, ... despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with 'fire and fury.'"
  • Bottom line: The piece gives Bannon's enemies ammunition at a time he's extraordinarily vulnerable. They've been saying he's a leaker, a self-promoter, 'President Bannon,' etc. This interview plays right into their hands.

Be smart: Bannon's power grabs, back-biting, and grandiose America First fantasizing have left him, along with Trump, similarly isolated on a similar island — though much more content and authentically pleased with his lot.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 5,653,821 — Total deaths: 353,414 — Total recoveries — 2,325,989Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,694,599 — Total deaths: 100,047 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
  5. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  6. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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