Unshaven and working from home in cargo shorts as he moves into "Bannon the Barbarian" mode, Steve Bannon is thinking bigger than Breitbart.
Axios' Jonathan Swan hears Bannon has told friends he sees a massive opening to the right of Fox News, raising the possibility that he's going to start a network.
Bannon's friends are speculating about whether it will be a standalone TV network, or online streaming only. Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together.
Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power.
Why it matters: The country's national political conversation is about to get even uglier, if you can imagine. It's going to be dark, and toxic, with a fight on the right that may be more bitter and personal than hostilities between Republicans and Democrats.
Around the corner: Expect Bannon to use Breitbart to engage aggressively in September's policy fights. Watch for Bannon to pressure Trump to veto any government funding bill that doesn't include money to fund the building of that big, beautiful wall he promised along the southern border with Mexico.
Bannon didn't bother to go to work yesterday. He knew it was over.
At the end, Trump was beyond fed up, viewing Bannon as a self-aggrandizer who had built a personal narrative as the grand puppetmaster.
A big irony: Bannon got personally crossways with the president at a time when nationalist policies were ascendant with POTUS. Trump agreed with Bannon's formula for confronting China on trade, although he later succumbed to the effort of other officials to dial that back. And Bannon egged on Trump with the view of Charlottesville that later drew such a backlash.
The post-Bannon presidency: West Wing sources expect that with Bannon gone, the administration will be less likely to use trade as a weapon, and more likely to flex military muscle against bad actors.
Be smart: A huge tension that'll unfold beginning this fall is that Trump is more ideologically aligned with Bannon than he is with the more moderate officials who now surround him in the West Wing.
Going ... Bloomberg: "Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has ended his role as a special regulatory adviser to President Donald Trump after questions were raised about potential conflicts of interests with his business dealings. In a letter to Trump posted Friday on Icahn's website, he denied profiting from his advice-giving role -- a possibility raised by Democratic critic."
Staying ... "Trump's evangelical advisers sticking with him amid fallout," by AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll: "Only one of Trump's evangelical advisers has quit the role ... The Rev. A.R. Bernard, pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn and one of the most influential clergymen in New York, announced his decision Friday night ... Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote."
P.S. N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff: "I'm going to nominate this White House for a Tony Award for the most drama. Not the best drama, but the most drama."
"White House lawyer [Ty] Cobb predicts quick end to Mueller probe," by Reuters' Karen Freifeld:
Barron's cover story ... "Starbucks Teaches Silicon Valley a Lesson in Tech: The coffee giant is creating a buzz in digital payments. Why the stock could jump 20%," by Alex Eule:
Why it matters: "The biggest investing story of 2017 is the destruction of value in the retail sector. ... A narrative has taken hold: Bricks-and-mortar outlets just can't compete with digital competition."
Free link for Axios readers (with lots of graphics)..
Anyone who knows me would say I wear my blue-collar roots as a badge of honor. This very white, working-class town and my big Irish family taught me a whole lot. My now 90-year-old, World War II veteran grandfather worked three jobs at a time — a high school janitor by morning; a railroad worker by night; and a father of nine, 24 hours a day.
Anyone sitting on a branch of this family tree learned the importance of family, faith and friendships — what it means to be loyal, what it means to have work ethic, and how to fight for the little guy.
But it's also in this town, like many white working-class cities across the U.S., where racists are born.
"Trump's trade chief [yesterday] formally launched an investigation into Chinese efforts to secure technology and Beijing's treatment of intellectual property," The Wall Street Journal's William Mauldin (p. A9):
"U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he notified Mr. Trump ... he would launch the probe, which could result in trade sanctions. He made the announcement just four days after Mr. Trump directed Mr. Lighthizer to look into the matter." (Subscription)
Adults take up fidget spinners ... WashPost Style cover, "Grown-ups give this craze a whirl: Just as with Facebook, adults have glommed on to their kids' gizmos," by Sonia Rao: