Apr 8, 2017

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:

Monday:

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.

Tuesday:

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.

Wednesday:

President Trump removed Bannon from the National Security Council in a move that made the media go crazy.

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.

Bannon reportedly threatened to resign, several outlets noted. "If my talents aren't needed here, I can take them somewhere else."

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.

Thursday:

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.

Friday:

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."

Trump tried to fix the Bannon/Kushner relationship and stop "their incessant knife-fights in the media" by overseeing a meeting between the two, NYT reports.

#FireBannon began trending on Twitter late Friday night.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.