Some interesting back story to this week’s firestorm in Washington between Donald Trump and Steve Bannon is starting to come to light. Apparently, Trump was already angry at Bannon for publicly attacking Jared Kushner on Breitbart and had sent word to Bannon that he had to lay off on that, before the last straw was reached for Trump two days ago when he heard that Bannon had called Donald Junior a traitor in “Fire And Fury.” Axios:
Tommy Hicks, a Trump campaign fundraiser and the chairman of the favored pro-Trump outside group America First Policies, relayed a message from the White House to Bannon to “knock it the f— off” or else Trump would blow him up, according to two sources with direct knowledge.
Republican operative Arthur Schwartz was another of Bannon’s friends who warned him about fixating on Jared too much and pushing Trump over the edge.
So on Wednesday morning Bannon and allies were prepared to issue a statement wherein Bannon would not only deny that he had made statements about treason quoted in the book, but he would also spin the story to depict Donald Junior as a patriot. What went wrong was that Trump beat Bannon to the punch and issued his own statement denouncing Bannon and everything went south from there.
- “Bannon on Wednesday was about to issue a statement praising Donald Trump Jr. and disputing his quotes in a book from Michael Wolff, but the statement was spiked after President Trump went nuclear on his former chief strategist.”
- “Bannon’s aides sought to impress upon him the need to put out a statement quickly. The aides had crafted a statement, which was pending Bannon’s approval, when the White House beat him to the punch.”
- “In the unreleased statement, Bannon had planned to call Trump Jr. a patriot and dispute the account in Wolff’s book… in which Bannon described Trump Jr. as ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for setting up a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.”
So now things are at a stalemate where Bannon is being urged to recant his sins and throw himself on Trump’s mercy by aides who tell him it’s the only way to secure any kind of a political future for himself. The problem with this is that Bannon, like Trump, never apologizes, viewing apologiziing as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of character. “Never give up, never surrender,” is his motto.
It seems like a version of the immoveable object meeting the irresistible force — something’s gotta give and right now it looks like that something is Bannon’s career. Bannon is finished.