A seismic shake up in the West Wing has been predicted for months and maybe it’s finally starting to happen. Sean Spicer resigned today as White House Press Secretary, although Washington pundits were saying on Tuesday that Spicer’s confirmation of Donald Trump’s second meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit signified Spicer hammering the final nail in his own coffin and perhaps the truth on that historical footnote will only be known when the Trump regime itself has fallen in its entirety. Meanwhile it is a theory which fits the facts.
So who else’s head is on the chopping block? According to Politico, a purge is coming in August and even Steve Bannon is worried:
White House aides speculate about whether Bannon is trying to protect his job amid long-running talk of a White House staff purge. Several West Wing advisers said they expect Trump to decide once and for all on a White House shakeup during his planned vacation next month, when he is expected to consult with friends beyond the Beltway. “If there is a big staff shakeup, it will be in August,” said a senior White House aide. “My guess is that Bannon probably sees that and doesn’t want to be in the press.”
Steve Bannon’ s survival instincts are far more developed than anybody elses in the Trump administration. He clashed swords with Jared Kushner back in February after his removal from the National Security Council. Trump was very much against Bannon at that time, describing him as “just a guy who works for me.” Bannon, through no fault of his own, had committed one of the cardinal sins of Trump World, i.e., he had become too famous for his own good. Trump cannot stand anybody in his circle getting the spotlight away from him too much.
Consequently, when Bannon was very high profile in the Spring with his TIME Magazine cover, depicting him as “The Great Manipulator” plus the ongoing Saturday Night Live spoof with Bannon as the Grim Reaper ever shadowing Trump, it rankled him. When the “President Bannon” meme started, that was the final straw, apparently, and a wedge was driven between Trump and Bannon which Jared Kushner lost no time exploiting. Then ensued the great catfight between Bannon and Kushner, wherein Bannon called Kushner a “cuck” and a “globalist” who was “trying to shiv” Bannon, per the Daily Beast.
After that spat, Kushner was apparently Trump’s key advisor for a time, until, in the Peter Principle fashion so common of this administration, Kushner overstepped himself and suggested the firing of James Comey, over Bannon’s strenuous objection. It turned out that Bannon was right and Kushner went to the sidelines for a while, as Bannon encouraged Trump to “go to the matresses” to save his presidency.
Bannon reacquired the reins of power and then kept to the shadows, where, according to Politico, he feels comfortable; although that tactic has not proven infallible, when it comes to humoring Trump:
Bannon is more comfortable operating in the shadows between government, big money and right-wing media, according to senior administration officials, who describe Bannon as “invisible,” “AWOL,” and “missing in action.”
But no one threatens Bannon’s job security more than the man whose winning campaign he managed, particularly now that Bannon is back in the headlines thanks to the publication this week of Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s book, “The Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” which depicts Bannon as a driving force behind Trump’s campaign and the early stages of his administration.
The president is “livid” about the book, according to the Washington-based insider, who said that he is “back to giving Bannon the cold shoulder” as a result.
Trump may be livid with Bannon and he most assuredly resents Bannon being depicted once more in Svengali-like fashion, as being responsible for his unlikely rise to the presidency. Be that as it may, Bannon is the one person upon whom Trump depends to keep a lid on the metastasizing Russia scandal, which may escalate to include yet another key figure in the Trump administration. Incredible as it may seem, Reince Priebus may be part of KremlinGate.
The attorney for Donald Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, said that the eighth person present in the room for the meeting with Donald Jr. and the Russian lawyer was a U.S. citizen and not an employee of the Russian government. CNN’s story also referred to the person as “he” although that may just be a figure of speech. “He” would certainly tend to implicate Reince Priebus, especially since he was in the building at the time. Bear in mind that at the time of this meeting on June 9 that Priebus was still chair of the Republican National Committee and not working for the Trump campaign. So if Priebus was not there on behalf of the campaign why was he there? It’s reasonable to infer that perhaps Priebus had an interest, as did Donald Trump Jr. and the other parties present for the meeting, in getting Donald Trump elected, which would mean that Reince Priebus, the titular head of the Republican party was conspiring with the Russian government to rig the election in favor of the GOP candidate. Food for thought. The dog days of summer are yet to come and the scope of Trump-Russia is getting broader and more incendiary by the day.