Politico reports: The conservative news site Breitbart has waged a nonstop campaign against national security adviser H.R. McMaster, but so far it seems to have done the most damage to someone else: Steve Bannon.
A Wall Street Journal editorial earlier this week accused Bannon of using the right-wing media to go after his ideological foes, questioning his loyalty to the president and placing blame for White House dysfunction squarely on his shoulders.
The attacks on McMaster have put Bannon in an especially awkward position with his new boss, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who has been increasingly defensive of McMaster, a longtime friend and fellow general, according to interviews with 10 administration officials and people close to the White House. McMaster, who pushed Bannon off the National Security Council principals’ committee, hasn’t spoken to Bannon in weeks, one senior administration official said.
Trump’s chief strategist has been suspected in the past of orchestrating stories against his colleagues in Breitbart, which he ran before joining Trump’s campaign last August. Kelly has told West Wing staff that he won’t tolerate the infighting or anonymous comments to the press that characterized the tenure of Kelly’s predecessor Reince Priebus.
The continuing flood of negative stories targeting McMaster has served as a constant reminder that the problem was bigger than Priebus, who resigned two weeks ago.
“Fair or not, common sense would dictate that Steve Bannon has reach and influence and communication with these alt-right platforms, whose editorial bent more often than not, aligns with Steve’s agenda,” said Kurt Bardella, a former Breitbart spokesperson. “I think [the stories] gave ammunition to his detractors internally, to either ID him or his people as part of the problem.” [Continue reading…]