If you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to agree with wildly controversial top Trump adviser and former Breitbart head Steve Bannon — something you might not have thought would ever present itself — you’re in luck.
Bannon reportedly called Speaker of the House Paul Ryan a “a limp-d*ck motherf*cker who was born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation” at one point during the months before Donald Trump, who Bannon has long supported, officially clinched the Republican nomination for president.
Speaker Ryan, although he’s long since caved and supports the president nowadays, hasn’t always, and at one point in the months before the 2016 Republican National Convention there was talk of Ryan perhaps coming out of that convention as the Republican Party’s nominee for president. That could have happened had the convention been contested either on account of not one candidate getting a majority of delegates or if some other procedural move was invoked to keep Trump from the nomination.
Lo and behold, however, the convention wasn’t contested, Trump is in the White House, and Paul Ryan is still in Congress. That does not mean, however, that Bannon was not at one point very worried about Ryan.
The tidbit of what Bannon referred to Ryan as last summer comes in a new book called Devil’s Bargain written by Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green.
As Green explains, Ryan’s prominence combined with his one time opposition to Trump sent Bannon into a panic back in 2016. At one point, Green explains, the former Breitbart head began “plotting an all-out war to stop Ryan, of whom he was both fearful and dismissive — sometimes within the same sentence.”
This revelation of the pre-Election Day 2016 relationship between Ryan and Bannon helps shine some light on the present state of cooperation between the Trump administration and Congress. There’s not necessarily any reason to believe that the “all-out war to stop Ryan” on Bannon’s part has stopped.
The most prominent recent attempt at Bannon/Ryan cooperation came in the form of the House’s Obamacare replacement bill. This bill, known as the American Health Care Act, was developed by the Republican House members in “cooperation” with the Trump administration that was really no doubt something more like intimidation of Republican Congresspeople on the Trump admin’s part, considering reports about the negotiations and these reports about the previous relationships of people involved in the negotiations.
Bannon shot to prominence early in President Trump’s tenure, but he’s faded from prominence in recent months. Bannon, early on in the Trump administration, went from sitting on the National Security Council to clashing with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In other words, Bannon likes to clash with people, and that, of course, underlies why Trump chose to let him into his inner circle. Bannon and Trump are alike.
Bannon was eventually booted from the National Security Council and suffered a fall from grace at one point, with talk circulating that he might get fired. He still has a job, however — for now at least. As for Ryan, he’s built his career on sucking up to whomever it was most politically profitable for him to sucker up to, and although 2018 electoral challengers for his seat have emerged, it remains to be seen if any of them will be successful.
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