News or views or issues from the USA.
It sounds like there might have been a bit of power playing going on in dropping Steve Bannon from the National Security Council.
The man credited with honing Donald Trump’s populist message and guiding him into the White House has grown frustrated amid continued infighting in the West Wing, so much so that in recent weeks a top donor had to convince him to stay in his position.
Five people, including a senior administration official and several sources close to the president, tell POLITICO that Bannon, one of Trump’s closest advisers, has clashed with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who’s taken on an increasingly prominent portfolio in the West Wing. Bannon has complained that Kushner and his allies are trying to undermine his populist approach, the sources said.
Lately, Mr. Bannon has been conspicuously absent from some meetings. And now he has lost his seat at the national security table.
…blunders by Mr. Bannon’s team — especially the first immigration order, which was rejected by multiple courts — have undermined his position. His take-no-prisoners style was not a winning strategy on Capitol Hill, and Mr. Bannon declined to take a significant part.
Mr. Trump initially supported Mr. Bannon’s take-it-or-leave-it final message to holdouts in the House Freedom Caucus. But, needing a win, the president grew skeptical and authorized Mr. Pence to resume health care talks, with Mr. Bannon playing more of a supporting role, according to three people close to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Bannon has also been at odds with Gary Cohn, the president’s national economics adviser. Mr. Cohn is close with Mr. Kushner, who has said privately that he fears that Mr. Bannon plays to the president’s worst impulses, according to people with direct knowledge of such discussions.
Moreover, Mr. Bannon’s Svengali-style reputation has chafed on a president who sees himself as the West Wing’s only leading man. Several associates said the president had quietly expressed annoyance over the credit Mr. Bannon had received for setting the agenda — and Mr. Trump was not pleased by the “President Bannon” puppet-master theme promoted by magazines, late-night talk shows and Twitter.
Unfamiliar and unprecedented perceptions of power, frustration at that power not being very successful, egos and agendas were always at risk of clashing.
The revolutionaries need to learn, quickly, how to be effective, or the old school politicians will gradually take over.