Inside Steve Bannon's worst week in the WH
Rebecca Zisser / Axios
Steve Bannon has been Trump's right-hand man and, more formally, his chief strategist. Their close relationship made him one of the more influential people in the Trump administration — that is, until this week. Here's a recap of Bannon's lousy week that went from bad to worse in a span of 24 hours:
The start of the week was relatively quiet for Bannon. A few things popped up regarding his financial disclosures, but that didn't really hurt him.
Bannon is "a white supremacist-type person," Rep. Elijah Cummings said on Morning Joe. Though it's not clear how the Trump administration felt about Cummings' comment, later in the week we learned that Bannon's nationalist views reportedly created infighting with Jared Kushner.
45% of people view Bannon unfavorably, according to data from WaPo. That number has steadily increased since February.
Drudge Report bannered the Bannon news for most of the day: "BANNON LOSES POWER IN WHITE HOUSE SHAKEUP."
Trump was reportedly annoyed with the "President Bannon" narrative that emerged from the credit Bannon received for setting Trump's agenda, several associates told NYT. The NYT also pointed out that Bannon's nationalist agenda was hurting Trump.
Damage control: Bannon then claimed the rumors of his threat to resign were all nonsense, telling Axios: "I love a gunfight."
What Bannon allies wanted you to think: Bannon was only put on the NSC to "de-operationalize" it by monitoring Michael Flynn and Susan Rice, so it was "long-planned" to remove him from the committee and his demotion doesn't indicate a shakeup.
Headlines of the day:
- "The knives are out for Stephen Bannon, and his scam is getting unmasked" —WaPo op-ed
- "Bye Bye Bannon" —Slate
- "Steve Bannon Isn't a Genius" —NYT op-ed
We also found out that Trump wasn't a fan of the SNL skit featuring "President Bannon" as the grim reaper.
Axios exclusively learned about potential WH shakeups that could include a chief of staff replacement and a resignation from Bannon. A top aide told Mike Allen it's a question of "when" not "whether" the change will come: "The tension, the exhaustion, the raw nerves have gotten much harder to disguise."
#FireBannon began trending on Twitter late Friday night.