Steve Bannon detonates his Trump survival plan, worrying allies

BuzzFeed reports: Allies who spend too long in Donald Trump’s doghouse usually get sent away for good. Chief strategist Steve Bannon is trying to forestall that fate.

Bannon — the polarizing and enigmatic hero of the alt-right, who has become a flashpoint in the aftermath of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia — has for months drawn the president’s ire, with Trump feeling his strategist seeks too much credit for his election win.

“That fucking Steve Bannon taking credit for my election,” Trump recently told a confidant, referring to a new book focused on Bannon’s influence, Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.

People close to Bannon within and outside of the administration have long worried that Trump’s frustrations will result in Bannon being tossed from the White House. Rumors hit a fever pitch in recent weeks, with the elevation of new Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Bannon’s renewed open war with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

It briefly looked like Bannon’s efforts to survive were paying off, as he reemerged after spending weeks laying low and staying out of Trump’s field of vision.

But the latest development in the White House drama — a rare on-the-record Bannon interview with the left-wing American Prospect in which he detailed his preference for a hardline stance against China on trade, said North Korea “got us” because a military option makes no sense, and openly talked of his feud with Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn — energized but concerned allies who worry Kelly won’t look positively at undercutting Trump on North Korea and knifing senior officials publicly. [Continue reading…]

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