4. Bannon rising
"Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment." —Steve Bannon in 2013, as quoted by the Daily Beast
Jim VandeHei and I posted an updated list of chief strategist Steve Bannon's power plays and signs of his rising clout: Understanding his worldview is the Rosetta Stone to Trump's rhetoric and actions.
In an above-the-fold N.Y. Times front pager, "Adviser Seizes A Security Role From Generals," Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman add this layer: "People close to Mr. Bannon said he is not accumulating power for power's sake, but is instead helping to fill a staff leadership vacuum created, in part, by Michael Flynn's stumbling performance as national security adviser. Mr. Flynn still communicates with Mr. Trump frequently, and his staff has been assembling a version of the Presidential Daily Briefing for Mr. Trump, truncated but comprehensive, to be the president's main source of national security information."
Their colleague David Sanger has palace intrigue on Bannon's elevation to the National Security Council's Cabinet-level principals' committee, "and the diminishment of the president's top intelligence and military advisers": "[M]ilitary officials said they suspected that the decision, in part, was prompted by the national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn … Throughout the transition, Mr. Flynn was reportedly hesitant to place many people around the National Security Council table who had outranked him in the military."