Should President Trump exit the White House before his first term is up — whether by resignation or impeachment — his former chief strategist Stephen Bannon at one point considered himself the natural successor to the Oval Office. So says an excerpt from Josh Green's Devil's Bargain, a forthcoming book on Bannon, excerpts of which were published by Politico on Monday.
Green reports that Bannon told close friends that Trump's departure would "eliminate the first great champion of Trumpism" without making a "negative judgment on the politics that had swept him into office." He envisioned a movement not dependent on Trump's personality and himself as its second great champion.
Rather than running as a Republican, Green adds, Bannon considered launching a new third party to make his bid. He would call it the National Union Party, borrowing a name the nascent GOP used in 1864. Though no third-party candidate has won Electoral College votes in the last five decades, Bannon "seemed to imagine such a path might be viable," Green wrote, "and that a true devotee of right-wing nationalism — rather than a charlatan like Trump — could succeed where his predecessor had failed."