Politics

Trump Distancing From Bannon Sparks Firing Rumors

| by Shani Shahmoon

"I love you, but I'm not 'in love' with you," has got to be the oldest cliche in the book, and it seems like President Donald Trump feels that way about his chief strategist, Steven Bannon.

In an interview released on April 11 between Trump and New York Post reporter Michael Goodwin, the president uses this rejecting phrase in a couple of ways when talking about his current chief strategist.

He begins with, "I like Steve, but ..." and goes on to explain that Bannon is not essential to his team, causing readers to brace themselves for potentially a new chief strategist.

Bannon was brought onto Trump's campaign team as the "CEO" a little late on the campaign trail, and was kept on the team after the inauguration as the chief strategist for the White House. His alt-right, nationalist views have isolated him in the West Wing among fellow staff members, NPR explains, but he managed to influence Trump's "America First" mentality and effect policy, such as writing the immigration ban executive order.

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Recently, though, things have been changing, it seems.

The former head of right-wing website Breitbart has since been losing his pull within the White House. A lot of this has to do with his clashing heads with some of Trump's fellow leading staff members. Specifically, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser.

Kushner and Bannon have reportedly had a tense relationship throughout their time in the White House, and it seems like Trump has had enough of the cat-fighting.

Bannon has been criticized for having white supremacist ties and an anti-Semitic following which he doesn't speak out against, while Kushner, an orthodox Jew, has been facing a backlash of harassment since he was given his role, the Anti-Defamation League reported in a press release on April 10.

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Meanwhile, on the same day of the press release, which also happened to be the first night of Passover, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer publicly stated that Adolf Hitler was not as bad as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because he didn't use chemical weapons in the middle of town.

Later, Spicer publicly apologized for having forgotten in that moment that Hitler killed millions of people -- mainly Jews -- in gas chambers filled with Zyclon B, a chemical. Sarin, the chemical al-Assad recently used, was created by Nazi scientists.

With the wave of anti-Semitism rising, the relationship between Bannon and Kushner has been reportedly crumbling.

Roger Stone, Trump's former political adviser, said that Kushner had been spreading rumors about Bannon, USA Today reported.

Trump is said to have ordered the two to his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate on April 7 with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to work things out.

"Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will," Trump concluded in the interview with Goodwin. 

Sources: New York Post, NPR, Anti-Defamation League, USA Today / Photo credit: The New York Times via The Atlantic-Journal Constitution

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