“not going anywhere”? is that good?

Trump Calls Bannon “Alt-Left”, Says He “Isn’t Going Anywhere”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 1 2017

The feud between Trump and Steve Bannon appears to be a thing of the past. As part of his extended interview with Bloomberg on Monday (below), Trump dismissed speculation that his administration is split by discord, saying he is sticking by his polarizing chief strategist Steve Bannon, calling him a “very decent guy” who is getting a “bad rap.” Trump even revealed his own term for Bannon’s ideology, calling it “alt-left,” a pun on Bannon’s ties to the conservative “alt-right” movement. Why alt-left? Because as Trump explained during the Oval Office interview:

Bannon’s more of a libertarian than anything else, if you want to know the truth.

More importantly, Bloomberg adds that Trump’s “playful approach” to the former chief of Breitbart News and his other comments about his staff suggest that a widespread shakeup of his inner circle is unlikely in the near future. Trump added that both Bannon and Reince Priebus would likely still be in their same roles several months from now, along with two other figures in his administration who have drawn withering fire: counselor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer. Confirming reports from early April, Trump also said that Bannon and his son-in-law Jared Kushner had managed to repair their relationship. The president did, however, acknowledge past tensions on the staff. Trump said:

Bannon is a very decent guy who feels very strongly about the country. Likewise Jared. And they’re getting along fine. We have a lot of people that are getting along well. It’s coming out better now than it was, you know, for a while. And for a while it was a little testy, I guess for some of them, but I said they’ve got to get their acts together.

Taking a walk down memory lane, Bloomberg reminds us that the heat switched to Bannon after his April 4 removal from the principals committee of the National Security Council. Previously it was on Priebus, after the first failed attempt to pass Obamacare repeal. This was followed by reports of infighting between Bannon and Kushner. As we reported on Apr 8, one day prior Priebus, at Trump’s request, oversaw a session of “marriage counseling” for Bannon and Kushner. The pair agreed to resolve their differences, aides said. The Bloomberg interview then goes over the tenuous relationship between Trump’s two (until recently) top advisors.

Priebus, the former RNC chairman, has looked to merge the outsider world of the Trump campaign with the party establishment he’s long led. Bannon, for his part, been among the most vocal advocates for a nationalist, anti-establishment approach to governance within the Trump White House. The two men were in charge of running operations within a Trump White House that has experienced a string of blunders and missteps, including a travel ban barring visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries that was hastily written and quickly blocked by federal courts. One White House official said last week that Trump’s top aides believe they have learned better the governing process and are now striving to keep various agency leaders and decision-makers in the loop so that no one feels shut out.

Either that, or they have both realized that with the ascent of Mnuchin and Cohn to the innermost circle of Trump advisors, their opinions simply no longer matter as much, and so it is best to simply indeed get along, or at least go along for the ride. Trump concluded by saying that he didn’t expect to see departures from the White House soon. He said:

Now, I will tell you, probably people are going to get job offers. You know, things happen. But I’m very happy with our group. We’re doing very well.

‘Alt-Left’ Strategist Bannon Isn’t Going Anywhere, Trump Says
Jennifer Jacobs, Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News, May 1 2017

Pres Trump on Monday dismissed widespread reports that his administration is riven by discord, saying he is sticking by his polarizing chief strategist, Steve Bannon, calling him a “very decent guy” who is getting a “bad rap.” Trump even revealed his own term for Bannon’s ideology: “alt-left,” a play on Bannon’s ties to the nationalist conservative movement sometimes called the alt-right. Why alt-left? Trump said Monday during an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office:

Bannon’s more of a libertarian than anything else, if you want to know the truth.

Trump’s playful approach to the former chief of Breitbart News, perhaps the biggest target of liberal fury, and his other comments about his staff suggest that a widespread shakeup of his inner circle is unlikely in the near future. He said Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus both would likely still be in their same roles several months from now, along with two other figures in his administration who have drawn withering fire: counselor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer. Trump also said that Bannon and Trump’s senior adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner, have managed to repair their relationship. But the president did acknowledge past tensions on the staff. Trump said:

Bannon is a very decent guy who feels very strongly about the country. Likewise, Jared. And they’re getting along fine. We have a lot of people that are getting along well. It’s coming out better now than it was, you know, for a while. And for a while it was a little testy, I guess, for some of them, but I said, “You’ve got to get your acts together.”

Since late March, Trump has been said to be considering a shuffle of his top advisers. The whisper campaign in Washington, sometimes targeting Priebus and other times Bannon, resulted from squabbling within the inner circle and a string of setbacks for Trump’s nascent presidency. Back in February, when reports of discord between Priebus and Bannon were crowding the headlines, the pair presented a united front in a series of news interviews and at a speaking appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference. But the speculation about Priebus’s future reached a high point after House Republicans failed to advance legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare on Mar 23, the seven-year anniversary of its passage, as Trump had originally wanted. The heat switched to Bannon after his Apr 4 removal from the principals’ committee of the NSC. Soon after, reports emerged of infighting with Kushner. On Apr 7, Priebus, at Trump’s request, oversaw a session of “marriage counseling” for Bannon and Kushner, as one aide described it. The pair agreed to resolve their differences, aides said. Priebus, the former RNC chairman, has looked to merge the outsider world of the Trump campaign with the party establishment he’s long led. Bannon, for his part, been among the most vocal advocates for a nationalist, anti-establishment approach to governance within the Trump White House. The two men were in charge of running operations within a Trump White House that has experienced a string of blunders and missteps, including a travel ban barring visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries that was hastily written and quickly blocked by federal courts. One White House official said last week that Trump’s top aides believe they have learned better the governing process and are now striving to keep various agency leaders and decision-makers in the loop so that no one feels shut out. Trump said Monday that he didn’t expect to see departures from the White House soon. He said:

Now, I will tell you, probably people are going to get job offers. You know, things happen. But I’m very happy with our group. We’re doing very well.

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