President Trump’s senior adviser, Steve Bannon seems to be doing a Houdini act in an attempt to save his job. If anyone pays attention to the White House’s current events, they would notice that Bannon has been noticeably absent from many recent political affairs.
Bannon has disappeared from major policy debates, which is contradictory to the powerful role he has been playing all along in Trump’s administration. According to Eliana Johnson and Annie Karni:
‘Bannon, chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile, having chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague.’
Bannon did not attend Trump’s recent trip to Europe for the G20 Summit or his visit with French president Emmanuel Macron. This is odd behavior for Bannon considering his interest in European history and politics.
Politico also reported:
‘And while Trump’s rousing call in Warsaw for the defense of Western civilization echoed the populist ideology Bannon promoted as chief of the right-wing website Breitbart News, two senior White House aides said Bannon had no hand in crafting Trump’s populist address. He did not participate in administration conference calls planning the remarks, they say, which were largely written by chief speechwriter Stephen Miller, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and National Security Council communications aide Michael Anton.’
Senior administration officials have also said that a low profile role suits Bannon well at this time. Bannon has been nicknamed “President Bannon” and “The Great Manipulator” by critics who have noted his position as all too powerful. Some administration officials also say that he is more comfortable out of the spotlight. He has been recently described by senior administration officials as “invisible,” “AWOL,” and “missing in action.”
Bannon may be coaching Trump on the sidelines, but he currently isn’t playing a major role in key policy decisions. This is very well may be because he fears his job is on the line. Signs have pointed to Trump shaking things up again in his administration and Bannon could be one of the staff purged.
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser, said:
‘He follows everything closely. He knows what’s going on. I don’t know if he has a feeling that strategically it’s better if his hands aren’t directly on things, but he’s definitely in the fold on the legislative agenda.’
Another interesting observation is that Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have a pretty tumultuous relationship that has been fueled by Kushner’s desire to isolate Bannon. Back in April, Daily Beast reported that Bannon had described Kushner as a “globalist” and a “cuck” who was “trying to shiv him and push him out the door.”
Another driving force into Bannon’s isolation by the Trump administration may also be related to a new book that was published this week, which gives Bannon a lot of credit for being a driving force behind Trump’s campaign and the early stages of his administration.
Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s book is titled “The Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.” Trump is reportedly angry about the book and is ignoring him as a result.
All of this information added together doesn’t seem to be culminating well for Steve Bannon and leads to easy speculation that he may not last much longer in the Trump administration.
Some have tweeted about Bannon’s missing in action status:
We are going to have to scour KKK meetings to locate him: ‘Missing in Action’: Steve Bannon is ‘AWOL’ https://t.co/rpRzmaUN4Y
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) July 21, 2017