Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed a sin Monday, admitting that Donald Trump has been scamming Americans about so-called "fake" news.
"Most news is not fake," McConnell told the Louisville Chamber of Commerce.
Whoa—them's fightin' words. That's Trump's bread and butter right there—his go-to retort to pretty much everything he doesn't like or understand, which is a lot.
But McConnell's comments didn't come out of nowhere. Over the weekend, a Trump ally who is in frequent contact with newly departed Trump aide Steve Bannon started the finger pointing over who's responsible for the raft of Republican defeats since they seized control of the federal government. Politico writes:
“There’s a lack of leadership on one side of Pennsylvania Avenue,” said David Bossie, a former Trump campaign adviser, appearing on “Fox News Sunday.”
Bossie, who said he’s spoken to Bannon “many times” in recent days, said Bannon’s departure from the administration will help the administration at “leaning into Congress.” He repeatedly decried a “failure of leadership in the House and Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan "have to step up,” Bossie said, adding, “The House and Senate leadership has not bought into the president’s agenda fully.”
Meanwhile, Bannon is already delighting in the battle ahead, writes the Washington Post.
In an interview in Washington on Saturday, Bannon warned Republican leaders to enthusiastically support Trump’s priorities on taxes, trade and funding a massive border wall — or risk the wrath of the president’s base, including Breitbart, to which Bannon returned Friday as executive chairman.
“If the Republican Party on Capitol Hill gets behind the president on his plans and not theirs, it will all be sweetness and light, be one big happy family,” Bannon said.
But Bannon added with a smile that he does not expect “sweetness” anytime soon...
We're pretty sure Bannon cackled like Dr. Evil after that.
Bannon is sure to be an equal opportunity destroyer, taking on anyone he believes is undercutting the white nationalist ideals he helped elevate during Trump's candidacy. That means everyone from from denizens of the Hill to the White House—including Trump and his family—will be fair game. Though McConnell was the chief target at Breitbart News on Monday night.
But Bannon will likely prove to be the same blunt instrument on the outside that he was on inside. His big mistake as a White House aide was having zero comprehension of or appreciation for the intricacies of producing and implementing policy—thus, the disastrous roll out of Trump's Muslim ban.
Bannon hasn't learned a thing since then, still treating Republican lawmakers like a monolith that should "get behind" Trump. That means he'll be exactly as effective at pushing legislation through Congress now that he’s back at Breibart.
What Bannon will succeed at is bloodying people up as he spins around Washington like a hammer thrower. He won't hit the right pressure points, but he'll surely knock some things down in the process.