President Trump has reinforced speculation that Steve Bannon may be on his way out as a member of the White House inner circle. He did so in an interview with Michael Goodwin of the New York Post. Goodwin reports:
When I asked the president Tuesday afternoon if he still has confidence in Bannon, who took over the campaign in mid-August, I did not get a definitive yes.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
He ended by saying, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”
Never mind “definitive.” I would say that Goodwin did not get any sort of “yes.”
Bannon is a controversial guy, to say the least, and I don’t agree with some important positions he has taken. However, Bannon is, on balance, more conservative than his main rivals in the White House power struggle. His ouster would be a blow to conservatives and thus, from my perspective, unfortunate.
Rich Lowry put it best:
A White House without Bannon might be a little more orderly (although a lot of the chaos comes from the top) and probably better on trade, but potentially less conservative on all the things that Jared and Ivanka would find awkward at a dinner party with Anna Wintour.
That’s an awful lot of things.