STEVE BANNON VS JARED KUSHNER: BANNON REMOVED AND DEMOTED AS POWER SHIFTS TO KUSHNER
President Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon, who once ran a website that support white supremacy, to the National Security Council was one of the president's most contentious decisions. Politicians on both sides wondered why the president would place a political appointee in a position with such military power and influence.
Things looked different on day 77 of Trump's presidency. The president removed Bannon from the council on Wednesday. (Turns out, Trump may not have understood what he was in for when he placed Bannon on the NSC.) In his place, Energy Secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has moved in.
The whole thing looked like a power struggle and one that Bannon is losing very fast. It also augurs poorly for the influence of Bannon's far-right ideology on the Trump administration. It is reported that the break-up was not nice: Bannon reportedly threatened to resign if he was cut from the NSC. Bannon's aides said his NSC role was to keep an eye on since-ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, with the president's chief political strategist going to few NSC meetings lately. "I was put on to ensure [the NSC] was de-operationalized," Bannon said in a statement.
Other reports put this as a win for national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. The Washington Post reported McMaster is formalizing decision-making processes that answer to him and developing a clear chain of command. Previously, some political advisers had been plotting national security strategy outside that structure.
The struggle between "nationalists" and "West Wing Democrats" reaches a breaking point as Kushner assumes more White House control. Politico reported that Ivanka Trump's husband played a key role in the removal of Bannon from NSC. That comes as Trump's eldest daughter enjoys a new West Wing office and her husband takes on the roles of bureaucracy reformer, unofficial diplomat and more.
Breitbart tried to make the removal of its former boss as a nonstory. The site noted Bannon would keep security clearance and could still attend NSC meetings. But given Kushner's efforts to marginalize the alt-right ideology around Trump, this humiliating demotion can only be seen as the president publicly breaking with a longtime loyal friend. Only time will tell if Bannon stays on at the White House and whether Trump will take a new approach to the presidency.
My opinion: It looks like Ivanka Trump's husband Jared Kushner is winning the superiority battle as power shifts to him
Bannon is saving face for now as he will resign because he cannot compete with the main-man Jared Kushner.