how the mighty have fallen
Chief strategist Stephen Bannon, once President Trump's right-hand man, is reportedly on thin ice nowadays. NBC News' Katy Tur reported Friday that people close to Bannon — who was booted from the National Security Council earlier this week — say "things are very bad for him" in the White House "right now." Tur said Bannon's allies have advised him to "'lay low' and wait out the storm."
Trump is apparently considering a "major shake-up of his senior White House team" amid growing frustrations with infighting, and "the weight of the president's frustrations appeared to be falling on" Bannon, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. In fact, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) predicted Friday that Bannon's "days are numbered in that administration." She said "profound changes will be coming" — as soon as in the next few months. However, a White House official insisted Friday there are "no indications of a staff change."
Already, reports indicate Bannon's power is waning. Daily Intelligencer's Gabriel Sherman reported Friday that Bannon argued against Trump's decision to order an airstrike against Syria on Thursday, claiming it went against Trump's America First doctrine. But Trump went ahead with the strike anyway, apparently at the behest of his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is quickly gaining greater clout and responsibility in the West Wing.
The split over Syria is apparently just the latest source of tension between Bannon and Kushner, but Bannon apparently has no plans to exit voluntarily. Sherman reported that "despite his waning influence, Bannon recently told an ally that he won't quit." "If Trump wants him out," Sherman wrote, "he'll have to fire him."