Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Bannon: Why Now?
The Fire and the Fury is hot-hot-hot off the presses and while author Michael Wolff may not be exactly reliable, the Bannon excerpts have not drawn a protest from The Steve-One--but instead they promoted the book on their website. The reaction was certainly fast and furious--albeit probably one of the ones missing Vin Diesel.
Breitbart commenters were furious with Steve--many of them deciding that Wolff was a fake-news liberal hack. Still with the president's scorching rejoinder (when he lost his job he also lost his mind) and having crossed the red line with the Pepes and other Trump-stalwarts of attacking Don Jr. (Javanka are fair game, The Omnivore understands) it appears that unless Bannon comes out and says he was pranking everyone and Donald was in on it that the bridges are pretty scorched (apparently one never really burns a bridge with Donald Trump--so who knows?).
The question The Omnivore has is "Why now?"
Apparently Wolff had a semi-permanent slot inside the West Wing and 18 months of access. If we presume that Bannon said all this after he got fired--likely--is it possible he knew that his foray into politics would be the end of the Trump-Bannon bromance? Or did he say all this stuff after Alabama and the book was changed just before print or something?
The Omnivore doesn't know--but thinks it makes a difference.
As seems likely, the quotes--seemingly calculated for maximal damage--most likely came in the wake of Bannon's removal from the White House--and as retaliation. So was this his plan all along? When Trump chose Kelley over Bannon, was Bannon's move to try to eviscerate Trump laid in then--and only now landed?
If so that's a lot of hang-time for a back-stab.
Still, Trump should not be surprised that he inspires more opportunism than loyalty in his picks. Certainly people see Trump's favor in terms of what it can do for them. There doesn't seem to be a lot of for the country in the Trumpian cabinet or orbit.
Some Residual Thoughts
Bannon says that Trump has money-laundering exposure through Deutsche Bank and Mueller will "crack Don Jr. like an egg." If there is leverage, The Omnivore has his bets on Kush-Just-Doesn't-Go-To-Jail as the guy to crack most completely (Manafort seems like more of a rock-hard operator who'll go down lips sealed if he has to. But who really knows?).
In any event, if there is there-there, then it seems very possible that Bannon is on to something: Manafort sure seems like the kind of guy who would be using his position as quickly as possible for personal gain. If millions of dollars were shlushing around the campaign, Manafort appears to be a hand-in-the-cookie-jar kind of guy.
Would that lead to Trump? Not necessarily--but it could. It could also get to the kids (including The Kush) who have, let us say, evidenced bad judgment in all of this. The Omnivore would expect Kushner to fabricate evidence against Trump if his ass was on the line. His purty face wouldn't last a minute in the big house. At least Don Jr. can potentially take a punch.
The other thing is that Mueller, although accused of everything from racism to intentional leaking, has, to The Omnivore's view, been pretty air-tight. We don't know what he's thinking or when this will wrap up. If people are nervous over at la Casa Blanca, the silence has got to be prisoner-delimminating the ever-living-fuck out of them.
Who wants to be the last Trump-child to roll over and get nothing? Probably Tiffany. So Bannon saying all this stuff in public likely raises the heat on Trump to do something (Fire Mueller) which would be a bad idea (like firing Mueller) but probably not as bad as goading Rocket-Boy into nuclear exchange.
at 5:13 PM