Citing a report from the political news site Axios.com, major media are speculating that White House strategist Steve Bannon might be fired momentarily. According to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, “Bannon, who has run afoul of Trump in the past, is now suspected by the president of leaking about his West Wing colleagues. And Trump resents the publicity Bannon has been getting as mastermind of the campaign.”
Asia Unhedged doesn’t believe Bannon will leave. After President Trump’s controversial statements about White Supremacists and the violent left in Charlottesville, he has burned a lot of bridges with the Republican Establishment. The moderate consensus is that the president stepped over a line and violated the rules of civilized behavior. The president evidently is counting on a backlash against the movement to remove monuments to the defeated Confederacy of the US Civil War of 1861-1865, His remarks implied a populist turn, and an attempt to split the traditional economic constituencies of the Democratic Party from its social activist wing.
In an interview with the American Prospect published on Wednesday, Bannon said that he wanted the Democrats to talk about race all the time, “while we talk about economic nationalism.” It’s hard to see how the president could walk back his Charlottesville remarks. His political future now seems to depend on effective execution of the economic nationalist agenda, and for that, Bannon is the most effective member of his team.
Our prediction is that Bannon will stay. Economic adviser Gary Cohn also will stay, just long enough to get the top job at the Federal Reserve six months from now after Janet Yellen retires.