by Graham Pierrepoint
U.S. President Donald Trump’s top team has seen colossal change and movement over the past six months – in a revolving-door fashion that is perhaps unparalleled at the top of US politics. The appointments, resignations and sackings that have come and gone have provided the mass media with a soap opera of sorts to follow along eagerly – with Trump all the while providing his own personal commentary via Twitter, the Commander in Chief’s app and soapbox of choice. In the time since he and his team has come to power, Trump has seen the likes of Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci (who lasted a whole ten days in the top team) depart – and sources suggest that chief strategist Steve Bannon, once thought to be Trump’s closest ally, could be next.
According to a number of sources such as CNN and Axios, it seems that the atmosphere surrounding Bannon has soured a little – with Scaramucci famously speaking out against the White House staffer before and after his removal from office. CNN reports that Bannon’s place at the top table could become shaky as a result of changes looking to be implemented by new Chief of Staff John Kelly, who took over from a departing Reince Priebus and who was ultimately responsible for removing Scaramucci from his post. Other sources such as Axios suggest that Trump is particularly concerned about leaking coming from the White House – and that Bannon could be in the frame. Such claims, of course, are as yet unsubstantiated.
It’s thought that Kelly’s restructuring of the top team is at direct odds with Bannon’s own agenda, whom CNN describes as a ‘political operative’ with his own modus operandi. Bannon is famous otherwise, of course, for having come from the ranks of Breitbart, having been the director of the conservative news outlet before his appointment to Trump’s team. Scaramucci, still in the news after his short spell as White House Communications Director, advised that it is within Trump’s best interests to ‘move away’ from Bannon completely.
If Bannon’s head is the next on the block, it will spell an interesting and surprising diversion away from the original team set up to bolster Trump at the start of this year. Bannon and Breitbart have been seen as bastions for the ‘alt-right’ movement, and if Trump chooses to distance himself from his advisor, it could spell further big changes for the White House staff and their operations. Will Bannon hang on in there? Stay tuned.