Ryan Lizza writes: “I’m a Leninist,” Steve Bannon told a writer for The Daily Beast, in early 2014. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
At the time, Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, the far-right news site. When he became the C.E.O. of Donald Trump’s campaign, in August, he told the writer that he had no recollection of the conversation. On Sunday, Trump, in his first personnel decisions as President-elect, named Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee Chairman, his chief of staff.
The press release from the Trump transition staff said that Bannon and Priebus would be “equal partners.” This is a signal to Washington that Bannon will be the most powerful person in Trump’s White House. On November 6, 2008, the day after his election, Barack Obama made just one personnel announcement: that Congressman Rahm Emanuel would be his chief of staff. Every staff member in the Obama White House reported to Emanuel, including political advisers such as David Axelrod. Even in the George W. Bush White House, which at first had a weak chief of staff, Andy Card, and a powerful political adviser, Karl Rove, everyone, including Rove, formally reported to Card.
Trump has indicated that, in his White House, Bannon will be first among equals. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: neither Bannon nor staff members at Breitbart have spelled out what their relationship will be after candidate Trump becomes President Trump. But even if Bannon and the website sever all ties, they will face an unusual, and awkward, situation: Bannon would be the former executive of a media organization that openly supported his political patron who will serve the president in a senior capacity while his media organization continues to cover him and his new boss.
“Breitbart will now go from being the propaganda arm of the Trump campaign to effectively becoming a state-run medium,” said Kurt Bardella, Breitbart’s former spokesman. “They will exist to tell the narrative of the Trump presidency to their audience to ensure their alternate reality they successfully ran on stays intact regardless of the situational reality and condition of this country. There is no separation between Breitbart and the Trump White House.” [Continue reading…]