One of the most troubling aspects of the recent, inflammatory quotes, supposedly coming from the lips of former Trump staffer Steve Bannon is the fact that Bannon has long been one of the President’s staunchest allies.
While Bannon may not be the well known figure that Trump is, he is a behind-the-scenes power player who has long been part of the right-wing activist movement.
While we don’t need Bannon and Trump to be friends, any battle pitting them at odds is a dangerous one for right-wing America.
However, as Breitbart’s London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam explains there is no need to think of the current brouhaha as Bannon vs. Trump. Bannon’s criticisms aren’t directed at the President, and the two men are actually not opposed.
Listen as Kassam explains in an interview on BBC’s Newsnight, that the party base doesn’t actually need to choose between Bannon or Trump, because the two men are on the same side.
“It sticks all together… If you look at what Steve Bannon is doing, if you look at Breitbart News, it is the only news site in the world which truly endorses the MAGA agenda, and it doesn’t need to be ‘either/or’.
“When Donald Trump is himself on the stump, he has the best political instincts of anyone in the past couple of decades, at least, to build that base and get all those people voting and to the rallies… we’re not on different sides here,” the Breitbart editor said.
Noting that the conversations with Steve Bannon recounted in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book were likely based on “hypothetical questions” and probably presented without “the full context of the conversation”, Kassam emphasized that Mr. Bannon’s professional life had led him to take threats from Russia very seriously.
“Steve Bannon was in the Pentagon during the Reagan administration, he’s a naval officer, he understands what the Russia threat really is outside of the media obsession… he understands what the geopolitical threat is.
“I think he takes that very seriously, so when he remarks that these people probably shouldn’t have been in Trump Tower taking meetings with senior campaign staff without lawyers in the room, I think that’s a fair thing to say,” Kassam said.
Emphasising how Bannon had always stuck by the president during the election campaign even when his other advisors believed the election was going to be a total loss, Kassam said: “Bannon said at the time: ‘100 percent metaphysical certitude that you are going to win’, and at the time candidate Trump didn’t believe Steve.
“People were jumping off the boat. Don’t forget the RNC was condemning him, Paul Ryan was condemning him, Chris Christie was condemning him… The only one person who stood by him was Steve Bannon.”