Podcast: Bannon’s Danger to Trump

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon in the White House, January 22, 2017 (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

I joined Austria’s Radio FM4 on Monday to review a tumultuous week for Donald Trump, from his response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville to the dismissal of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The two-part analysis looks ahead, considering if Bannon and his allies will now add to the problems of an embattled Trump by attacking his remaining advisors. It then takes on the specific issue of a US troop build-up in Afghanistan, and Trump’s further effort to regain some authority with a rally in Arizona on Tuesday.

See also Charlottesville, Bannon’s Fall, and the Upcoming “#WAR”

Listen to Discussion from 13:28

Steve Bannon at Breitbart is definitely dangerous to Trump and to the rest of us.

Bannon is declaring that staff can unleash their attacks on National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. Some staff want to go after Vice President Mike Pence. It is possible that Defense Secretary James Mattis could come into the firing line.

No one is safe inside the White House except Donald Trump. Even Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka have been called “globalists” — a derogatory term for their opposition to Bannon’s economic nationalism — by Breitbart.

We’re going to see further chaos in the White House but it’s not going to come from Trump’s enemies, it’s going to come from Steve Bannon.

Listen to Discussion from 13:35

The problem in TrumpLand is that two currents are undermining Trump’s political authority. One is the possibility that he will spur another uproar with some off-the-cuff statement. The other, more corrosive one is that his domestic legitimacy has been eroded because he cannot get healthcare legislation through, he cannot get economic legislation through and because — let’s be frank — the story that will come back again will be the Russia investigation.

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