Charles Blow: Steve Bannon Haunts Trump's White House
A ghost stalks the Trump White House, and it's not the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, or FDR keeping Jared Kushner up in the middle of the night. It's Steve Bannon, whose physical body may have departed the building but whose "spirit lingers there as the guide of the Donald Trump administration," according to the New York Times' Charles Blow.
Just look at Bannon's priorities, as outlined at the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference. "National security and sovereignty; economic nationalism; and deconstruction of the administrative state," Blow notes. "Everything Trump does or says falls into one of those buckets."
Take Mick Mulvaney's appointment as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mulvaney is an enemy of consumers, but that's all part of Trump's "Trojan Horse strategy of implanting enemies in government agencies to disable or even destroy them," Blow points out.
When Senate Republicans voted to extend huge tax breaks to the rich, they fulfilled Trump's goal of ensuring "that working people would most feel the pain from the bill, in cutbacks to government services like education and the social safety net." The constant attacks on the media, too, are straight out of Bannon's playbook, and Blow believes they indicate he "still has the president’s heart, as well as his ear."
Trump, the Washington Post reports, continues to reach out to Bannon against the wishes of Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was supposely installed to add order to this chaotic White House:
"The president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, from his personal phone when Kelly is not around, said people with knowledge of the calls. On Sept. 12, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bannon told a private group in Hong Kong that he “speaks with President Donald Trump every two to three days.”
Despite Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' repeated claims to the contrary, Bannon and Trump are still in touch several times a week. This means, Blow warns, that "Trump the conman has a wingman and together, in the shadows, they are leading us to ruin."
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