TrumpWatch, Days 210-211: Bannon’s Out

Donald Trump at a Q&A session with the press, August 15, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

UPDATE, 1700 GMT: Steve Bannon is out as White House chief strategist.

Two Trump Administration sources spread the news to media such as CNN and NBC.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders then said, “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

The Administration sources said Trump told senior aides on Friday that he had decided to remove the hard-right “white nationalist” seen as instrumental in the 2016 election victory. But “a person close to Bannon” said he submitted his resignation to the President on Aug. 7: it was to be announced at the start of this week, the person said, but was delayed after the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virgina.

Bannon had been in danger with the appointment earlier this month of , who was said to be determined to end White House in-fighting and bring discipline to the Executive. Some said the chief strategist’s position was saved on Tuesday with Donald Trump’s chaotic press conference giving more space to the white supremacy movement after Charlottesville, even though Trump was non-committal: “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

However, sources said Trump was infuriated by the publication of a Bannon interview with the liberal outlet The American Prospect, in which the advisor criticized the President’s approach to North Korea and bragged he could make personnel changes in the State Department.

Developments on Day 210 of the Trump Administration:

See also Podcasts: Trump, White Supremacy, and the Confederate Statues
Podcast: Should Trump Be Given A State Visit to UK?

Trump Tries to Vindicate White Supremacy Rally with Tweets on Confederate Statues

Donald Trump tries again to ease pressure on white supremacists over their violent weekend rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, seeking to reframe the issue as one about Confederate statues.

While the initial issue for the Charlottesville march was the city council’s proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, most of the white supremacists used the issue as a pretext for a wider display of their beliefs, including anti-Semitic declarations, the flying of swastikas, and “Heil Trump” salutes.

But in his Twitter burst on Thursday, Trump returned to his provocative message on Tuesday when he ripped up the White House strategy of condemning white supremacy and racism:

Trump has never before shown an interest in the history of the Confederacy, let alone equating the defense of slavery with the ideas of Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. However, with political pressure growing on him — including from Republican politicians and from business and industry leaders leaving his advisory councils — he appears to be taking refuge in a “Southern heritage and culture” line that has been used for decades to defend the maintenace of statues and the inclusion of the Confederate battle flag — the “Stars and Bars” — in State flags.

Can Trump Stem Defections?

The tactic appears risky. On Thursday Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African American Republican in the chamber, said he would not “defend the indefensible”:

What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happens — there’s no question about that.

Bob Corker, the GOP chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, challenged, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

After Wednesday’s dissolution by CEOs of advisory panels on manufacturing and on business and finance, in protest at Trump’s remarks over Charlottesville, the White House said yesterday that Trump had decided to cancel plans to assemble a President’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure.

Ironically and pointedly, the cancellation came during Infrastructure Week, the White House’s promotion of its plans which was overshadowed on Tuesday by Trump’s provocative comments.

Several groups pulled out of events at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, including The Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society, and the head of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce urged businesses not to host events there.

Sources said Trump’s new Chief of Staff John Kelly — the retired general who was going to bring stability to the White House and curb Trump’s unsettling activity on Twitter — is deeply frustrated and unsure how to contain the President. A White House official had to rebuff claims that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, privately dismayed by Trump’s remarks, will soon resign: “Nothing has changed. Gary is focused on his responsibilities as N.E.C. director and any reports to the contrary are 100 percent false.”

Trump Spreads An Anti-Muslim Myth

But far from reflecting on his position, Trump aggressively tried to take advantage of a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, which killed 13 people and wounded more than 80.

Trump went on Twitter to spread an anti-Muslim myth that he had also promoted during his 2016 campaign:

Historians and other observers quickly pointed out that the story — General John “Black Jack” Pershing killing insurgents in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pig fat in the early 20th century — is untrue. They also noted that the myth covers the execution of Filipino nationalists, who had little or no connection with Islam, by US forces, and that the insurgency continued for more than 30 years after the supposed end of the rebellion against US rule in 1913.

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  1. On this sombre occasion let’s give the Devil his due credit, Comrades … Vladimir Putin is truly the towering political genius of the 21st Century!

    Rebounding quickly from the Yeltsin years during which the Yanki bloodsuckers had practically drained Russia white, he single-handedly rebuilt the Kremlin State in his own manly image then casually régime-changed the Pentagovernment by stealing the Yanki elections of 2016 and installing his Quisling TrumpenFührer to strangle the Neocon PNAC Empire Project with its own overflowing diaper. This naturally enraged its Establishment acolytes beyond the bounds of reason, such that they now vengefully lust to depose his Agent Orange by any means necessary and seize the reins of power back into their own deranged, bloody paws, which coup, if successful, will certainly plunge the HomeLand into a thorough-going Civil War Mk.II. Even if they muster the courage but fail, the outcome will be essentially the same, with the entrenched swamp-bureaucracy deadlocked into self-inflicted paralysis against the Trumpian hordes baying for their blood within the castle keep. Needless to add, this is all part of Putin’s 4D-Chess match, as he wins either way!

    Go Yankis! Everyone has a part to play … Rome wasn’t burnt in a day!

    The International Community, i.e. Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia and China, must now egg on both sides for a few years to fulfil the auto-destruction, before designating Yankistan as a failed state and mounting a humanitarian military intervention to prevent them further harming themselves, eventually balkanising The Beast into a dozen or so manageably defenceless Ethnostates.

    The Yanki warcriminal caste will then be rounded up and executed after a fair trial under ad-hoc international law whereas the rest may dedicate themselves to the peaceful pursuit of agriculture.

    Thus was WW3 avoided!

  2. LOL, the firing of Darth Bannon will kick off a veritable avalanche of gnarly beans being spilled onto the pages of Breitbart & Co. Methinks Der TrumpenFührer will quickly regret backstabbing his most loyal Lieutenant and the man who came second only to V. Putin in securing his election victory.

    However, despite the official cover story, the firing of Bannon is most likely not the result of his recent interview, but simply that of Trump’s [actually HillDawg’s or Petraeus’ globalist Neocon] generals mobbing him at this nadir of emotional/political vulnerability with a collective threat to quit if their internal enemy were not immediately purged, and Donnie, ever the coward, took what looked like the path of least resistance in that moment.

    BTW, here is a fascinating memo from one of Bannon/Flynn camp, also recently purged from the WH, giving some insight into the political schism by which the Yanki ruling class is now hopelessly riven:

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