In a new book detailing the wild first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is quoted blasting top operatives in the 2016 campaign for their naivete and idiocy in their dealings with the Russians.
From those earliest days, Bannon encouraged Trump to run for the White House, and then, in the race’s final months, he effectively took over a campaign that appeared to have almost no chance of succeeding. He was Trump’s main man, no denying that and He’s absolutely right!
President Donald Trump unloaded on his chief strategist Steve Bannon in a statement Wednesday, claiming that Bannon “lost his job” and “lost his mind” after being pushed out from the White House, claiming sour grapes.
President Trump’s dismissive description Wednesday of Stephen K. Bannon as “a staffer” who had “very little to do with our historic victory” marked his latest effort to cast his onetime confidant as a bit player who never had any real influence on the president’s politics or policies.
It was the kind of story-shaping statement that, not so long ago, Trump and Bannon might have written together.In reality, Bannon has been a guiding figure for Trump for years as he began seriously to consider running for president, according to associates of both men.
The meeting which has caused some controversy took place in July 2016 between Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and several Russians operatives, in which dirt on Hillary Clinton had been promised to the campaign.
The meeting between the three top officials in the Trump campaign and a handful of people with Russian ties could or should be held in Trump Tower is, on its face, ludicrous. And, that doesn’t even get into the fact that the reason that the meeting even happened in the first place was that Don Jr. had been promised dirt on Hilary Clinton.
It is obvious that something actually happened, even though Don Jr. insists the meeting was brief and uneventful. It is made worse when you consider that two former Trump aides have already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Most campaigns are run on the premise of plausible deniability. As in, senior leadership in any campaign never get too close to the potentially explosive material that is peddled in the dark channels of opposition research so that, if ever it actually blows up they can honestly say they never knew about it.
There were undoubtedly benefits to the lack of knowledge Trump and his inner circle had about the way things were done in campaigns. They ran a different campaign because they didn’t know what a normal campaign looked like.
It is possible, that Trump and Bannon will reunite again soon. The president has a long history of making up with associates against whom he has lashed out. But for now, at least, Trump and Bannon are at logger heads, but with re-election campaigning expected to start taking shape towards the end of 2018, the two could rekindle their hugely successful alliance.
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