WWE Trump-Bannon Smackdown!

Boy howdy, have we got some news today. A new book by Michael Wolff titled Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House has set Trump and his minions at each other’s throats.  In the book, Steve Bannon called Junior’s Trump Tower meeting with a pack of Russians “treasonous” and added there was no way Trump didn’t know about it. In response, Trump says Bannon lost his mind.

Here’s just one excerpt:

Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him. That was his appeal: He was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul. Everybody in his rich-guy social circle knew about his wide-ranging ignorance. Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” Nunberg recalled, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”

The day after the election, the bare-bones transition team that had been set up during the campaign hurriedly shifted from Washington to Trump Tower. The building — now the headquarters of a populist revolution —­ suddenly seemed like an alien spaceship on Fifth Avenue. But its otherworldly air helped obscure the fact that few in Trump’s inner circle, with their overnight responsibility for assembling a government, had any relevant experience.

Ailes, a veteran of the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 41 administrations, tried to impress on Trump the need to create a White House structure that could serve and protect him. “You need a son of a bitch as your chief of staff,” he told Trump. “And you need a son of a bitch who knows Washington. You’ll want to be your own son of a bitch, but you don’t know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: John Boehner, who had stepped down as Speaker of the House only a year earlier.

“Who’s that?” asked Trump.

We also learn that Rupert Murdoch once called Trump a “f—ing idiot.” Will I be reading this book? You betcha.

From Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump denounced his former top strategist, Steve Bannon, on Wednesday, saying that he ‘lost his mind’ after leaving the White House last summer.

“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said of Bannon in a statement the White House issued. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.”

The statement represented an emphatic break from the person considered the architect of Trump’s presidential campaign. Bannon continued to enjoy access to the president after he left the White House, but that has ended, one person familiar with the matter said.

Earlier on Wednesday, New York Magazine published excerpts of a forthcoming book by author Michael Wolff in which Bannon criticizes Trump’s campaign as well as the president and his family. The Guardian published excerpts of the book in which Bannon predicts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV” over the president’s son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Bannon also called Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the lawyer, in which he expected to receive damaging information on Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton, “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” according to the Guardian.

Here is the official White House statement from Trump on Bannon:

Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.

Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans.

Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.

Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.

We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.

Officially, Bannon was chief executive officer of Trump’s campaign, beginning August 2016. After Trump was inaugurated Bannon became White House Chief Strategist and sat on the Principals Committee of the National Security Council. It will be interesting to see if the Alt Right sides with Bannon or with Trump.

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22 thoughts on “WWE Trump-Bannon Smackdown!

  1. Who needs soap operas when we have the Trump administration?  Tune in tomorrow.

  2. I might want something more escapist when I’m sitting in a civil defense shelter somewhere munching on crackers packed away in the 1950’s, dodging Trump’s mushroom clouds.

    My thought for today: of Manafort, Trump, and Flynn, only Flynn seems to have had the sense to hire a lawyer (lawyers) who passed the bar without remedial tutoring. Flynn’s guy said plead guilty, squawk like a duck, and be the first one back on the street after prison touring to promote a ghostwritten exposé about “The Don”. Manafort’s sputtering incompetent told him to plead not guilty (sure….) and now wants Manny to sue Mueller for investigating too many of Manny’s illegal money laundering schemes, because they go back (I’m shocked!) before the 2016 election. Tiny violins for you, loser.

    More topically, do you, Gentle Moderator smell a schism brewing? And which is the Pope, which is the Anti-Pope. I guess Bannon’s a shoo-in for anti-pope. Pass the popcorn. Meanwhile, we have numerous legislators on the winning side kissing the Don’s ring when he’s about to go down in flames. And the less stupid ones— Flake, Corker running for the exits instead of sitting tight and waiting for the White House to implode? I don’t even want to guess what November is going to look like….,,


  3. Bannon has a lot of detestable qualities, but unlike Trump, stupid isn't one of them. Assuming Bannon doesn't retract and deny the statements (which doesn't seem likely), Bannon made the statements on purpose. Bannon knew when he said what he said, that Trump would turn on him. Bannon knew that his influence over Trump would end. Bannon, unlike Trump, has an agenda and strategy for the alt-right. War with Trump doesn't seem to conflict with what Bannon wants, so what's Bannon's evaluation of Trump's future and function – as it relates to the Bannon agenda?

    Trump is a con man, out to make a buck and promote the Trump brand. Bannon has a repugnant vision – but a vision. In the interview that got Bannon fired, Robert Kuttner of "The American Prospect" reported:

    "He [Bannon] favored a large program of public infrastructure, tax increases for the rich, and a get-tough program with China intended to bring home industrial jobs. "

    What has happened – and what is proposed – is exactly the opposite of Bannon's vision. Bannon's racism wasn't an end – it was a means of tapping the energy of the cult he cultivated with Breitbart. Trump is wasting that energy, from Bannon's point of view, to make Trump richer. I'm extremely curious whether Breitbart will call Trump out for failing the cause and serving the ultra-rich. That will be a potentially lethal blow to Trump as he's trying to save his ass with the "Deep State" narrative to neutralize the FBI and the entire DOJ. Bannon's indictment of Manifort, Kushner and Trump Jr. and the meeting at Trump Tower as "treasonous" is a nightmare for Trump at the moment Trump wants it to be about Steele allegations and the democrats. 

    I'm going to be VERY interested in poll numbers – if this cracks Trump's base, the game changes in a lot of ways – including impeachment.

  4. It will be interesting to see if the Alt Right sides with Bannon or with Trump.

    There's nothing to see here. The simple answer is: Which one of them is going to Make America Great Again?

  5. It's obvious to anyone with any sense, that Emperor Vulgarian is beyond upset today – maybe even beyond apoplectic.  (If he had one, doctor's might worry about him suffering a brain-anuerism). 

    His once trusted, bigoted and beloved, slovenly and disheveled advisor, has turned on him!

    He will now forever be known to tRUMP and his family, as BANNONdict Arnold! 

    And now, the base of bigoted and brain-damaged lemmings will have to choose which of these two asses they will follow off a cliff ( NOTE: I don't care whose ass, just as long as there are no survivors!).

    Is there a National Popcorn Month?

    Maybe 2018 will overwhelm that month, and be remembered as National Popcorn Year!

    There'll be no rest tonight in the White (People's) House tonight!

    Half of the people will be trying to stop the president from tweeting all night, and the other half will be forming a "wall" to keep his teensy-weensy fingers from getting near his (much bigger than North Koreas!) nuclear button! 

  6. The ship seems to have run upon a hidden berg, or perhaps a cigarette into the magazine, or perhaps just internal rot. We all expected an unraveling.  Now we are witnessing it. Rosen stein went to Ryan  and said noway am I giving Nunes the goods. He is supposed to be recused remember?

    Hatch is leaving and endorsing Romney. Fusion GPS is revealing their testimony because Grassley won’t. The tell all book is out. Bannon the head rat is ratting on everyone.

    A lot of Congress critters are announcing their retirements. The rats are scurrying.

  7. Oh and also, the voter fraud commission was just disbanded by Trump order. Something about lawsuits…

    What I want to know is who gets custody of all of that voter data? RNC? Putin? Pence?

  8. FWIW this is apparently from the "Author's Note" in the book: "Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true."


  9. Doug: I agree that Bannon did all this on purpose knowing Trump's response. I suspect that most of the latter's base will not crack but will turn on Bannon, since the personality cult surrounds the more powerful of these two narcissists. 


    I do wonder if the National Enquirer will come to realize that there is money to be made in trashing Trump. When other tabloids begin to pile on as nature takes its course, the Enquirer will be missing out on the lucrative market unless they make a different calculation. I will stay tuned for that (as well as for his polling numbers, which I do not expect to change very much). 

    • “I do wonder if the National Enquirer will come to realize that there is money to be made in trashing Trump. When other tabloids begin to pile on as nature takes its course, the Enquirer will be missing out on the lucrative market unless they make a different calculation.” Interesting point. The book is shaping up to be a monster best seller. If it turns out that bashing Trump is a more sure-fire money maker than bashing Hillary Clinton, how long will it take before we see the shift in the tabloids they sell by the check-out lines?

  10. A sane and intelligent leader might have wanted to work things out with Bannon in private.  But what do I know.  Maybe choosing to call him crazy, fired, a mere staffer, a loser, getting him to cease and desist… is part of some "very good brain" strategy I'll never understand.


  11. This is the beginning of the end for Trump. Maha, you asked the question which way will the alt-right base go? They will go with Bannon, and that is because Bannon really is a populist, whereas Trump is just a con artist. On top of that, Bannon understands Trump's considerable vulnerabilities, and unlike the GOP ass-kissers he is ready, willing and able to tear Trump a new one. Why is Bannon so angry? Because Trump never understood that the populists were the ones who put him in office. The tax bill was the last straw. Bannon wanted to raise the tax on the "top earners" to 44%. The tax bill actually lowered the top rate from 39.6 to 35%, but thanks to the many loopholes it would actually be far lower than that.


    The DNC, on the other hand, had better watch their butts, because from here on Bannon can not only destroy Trump, but also the corporate Democrats, meaning Democrats who wish people like Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren would just go away. 

    Not to mention he can destroy what's left of the GOP.


  12. Pomposity, you do not hear that word often, especially with reference to the tenant at the people's house.  It is used when synonyms like airs, conceit, arrogance, ostentation, presumption, and overconfidence just are not adequate.  I heard it used as a modifying adjective just yesterday to describe Big Button's bombastic rhetoric.  (pardon my poor word choice). 

    I can add little else to this discourse, which is well above it's normal excellent level.  Do catch Collins in the NYT today, snarky funny in a Seamus on the roof luggage carrier sort of way.

  13. Trump want's the publisher to "cease and desist" distribution. He's threatening to sue everyone for "libel & defamation". The pre-orders for the book have made it a best-seller. It will be a huge windfall for writer and publisher – the odds of them pulling it (even if they could – books are on the way to bookstores) is precisely zero. Trumps response is the best advertising anyone could hope for – expect European sales to soar. OMG!

  14. Doug: someone also needs to ask (1) how many anti-Obama books came out between 2009 and 2017 and (2) for how many of them did Obama try to order the publisher to cease and desist?  A great big deal needs to be made out of this so that the contrast between the two presidencies can be clear to everyone. (Not that anyone prominent in the progressive camp will be sharp enough to take the opportunity.)

    priscianus jr : from what I can gather today, it appears that most of the alt-right is turning against Bannon and making him into a pariah. Richard Spencer is attacking Bannon and other white nationalists are condemning him for damaging Trump. Trump has power; Bannon has none. The explicit racists (Breitbart has skated around explicit racism) like the Daily Stormer appear to be most unhappy with Bannon.  They will throw him, not Trump, under the bus as this unfolds.   

    • “Doug: someone also needs to ask (1) how many anti-Obama books came out between 2009 and 2017 and (2) for how many of them did Obama try to order the publisher to cease and desist? A great big deal needs to be made out of this so that the contrast between the two presidencies can be clear to everyone. (Not that anyone prominent in the progressive camp will be sharp enough to take the opportunity.)”

      Threatening to sue Bannon because of a breach of a non-disclosure agreement, especially for stuff he said in the White House, is kind of a freaking ginormous neon sign that Trump and his lawyers haven’t grasped the essential difference between being a private businessman and being the POTUS. No prior president with connected brain synapses would have even thought of doing such a thing.

      As a candidate and a businessman Trump used litigation and threats to silence his critics.

      “He deploys an array of tactics to fight back — countersuits, threats and personal insults, among others — while using stringent confidentiality agreements to guard against insider accounts from employees, business partners, his former spouses and now his campaign staffers,” The Post’s Frances Stead Sellers wrote in July 2016.

      That same week, court filings revealed that he had sought $10 million in damages from fired campaign consultant Sam Nunberg, alleging that he violated a nondisclosure agreement by leaking confidential information to the press.

      “He was used to being able to do this in his private life,” Lobel said. And as a president, he has continued to use angry threats in attempts to silence critics — particularly on Twitter and in cease-and-desist letters.

      “It’s hard to see how it helps him here,” said Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of Southern California.

      Other lawyers and critics of the president expressed similar views on Twitter.

      “This reeks of desperation,” one post read.


  15. Trump Told Hope Hicks She Was 'The Best Piece Of Tail' Corey Lewandowski Would Ever Have, Book Claims

    Whether it's true or not, it does fit the image of Trump. I have absolutely no trouble believing that a comment like that would be spoken by Trump.Trump is a crude and obnoxious slob with no sense of decorum and in all probability a comment like that would be seen in Trump's distorted mind as being a compliment even though it reduces Hope Hicks to being just a sex object.

     It makes me wonder, according to Trump, if Marla Maples still hold the distinction of being the best sex partner Donald Trump ever had, or whether Melania has managed to snatch that honor away? I would guess it is Melania.. Not so much for who she is, but I think having sex on a bed full of  McDonald's cheeseburger crumbs and droppings would add to the overall ambiance for a heightened sexual experience for the Donald.

    Cheeseburger in paradise?

  16. Ed — thanks for this. Yes, that's the immediate response of the RW "establishment", and they do have a lot fo power. But I think it will eventually backfire. Bannon is still in a position to do tremendous damage to Trump and the GOP, considering the investigation and the likely repercussions of the tax bill. If nothing else, the alt-right itself will be split.

    Bannon's still got Breitbart and Trump's still got the Mueller investigation.

  17. Maybe we now have a one-liner even Trumpsters can understand:
    "He can dish it out, but he can't take it."

    I will have to try that out next chance I get. 

  18. We've seen this show before, Bannon, tRump, GOP-congress-cons they'll all be best buds by the weekend. It's basically a TeeVee show. They wouldn't dare break up the band now, there is more money to steal from the treasury. Ryan's got his eyes on Entitlements, as long as the Mercers, the Adlesons, etc get their taste, they will all be best friends forever!

  19. Yeah, Swami's cheeseburger remark reminds me of an oft recurring mental riff about corporate food and its effects on the gross and subtle bodies, actually a big factor in prevailing insanity including the collective incessant black mental stream that rules and dominates the ruling classes.

    But the real reason for comment is to extend best wishes to cund gulag whose plight I learned of reading recent comments. Wishing you improved circumstances, amigo. Keep on.

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