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Bannon Watch

Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric Trump reportedly want Stephen Bannon fired to save the Trump hotel brand

The sniping between President Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, got so intense that Trump stepped in last weekend and told them to work it out. Since then, it appears that the Kushner faction — including Ivanka Trump, economic adviser Gary Cohn, and deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell — has gotten the upper hand, and the entire Washington political press is speculating about when Bannon will be pushed out of the White House. And it's not just Ivanka on Team Bannon-Be-Gone, The Washington Post reports:

Trump's three oldest children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — and Kushner have been frustrated by the impression of chaos inside the White House and feel that their father has not always been served well by his senior staff, according to people with knowledge of their sentiments. The Trump heirs are interested in any changes that might help resuscitate the presidency and preserve the family's name at a time when they are trying to expand the Trump Organization's portfolio of hotels. [The Washington Post]

"The fundamental assessment is that if they want to win the White House in 2020, they're not going to do it the way they did in 2016, because the family brand would not sustain the collateral damage," one well-connected Republican operative told The Post. "It would be so protectionist, nationalist, and backward-looking that they'd only be able to build in Oklahoma City or the Ozarks."

The Bannon camp is warning, meanwhile, that there's no second term without Bannon and his brand of anti-establishment populism. "I think firing Bannon would be a huge mistake for Trump," Steve Deace, a conservative commentator in Iowa, tells The New York Times, adding a warning about the pugilistic nationalist-populist: "Hell hath no fury like a Bannon scorned." Vin Weber, a Republican former congressman, isn't convinced that "Bannon is a hero to grass-roots Trump voters," he tells The Times. "I talk to these people, and they're not going to turn on Trump because of some guy named Steve Bannon." At the same, he added, "the grass roots do listen to talk radio and the right-wing blogosphere. The question becomes, do they turn on Trump because of this?" Another question might be whether the grass roots stay in luxury hotels.