Steve Bannon Is Now Donald Trump’s Dick Morris
Score one for “regular order.” Too bad it doesn’t really matter.
Steven Bannon’s tossing from the West Wing is the surest sign of John Kelly’s imprint on Trump’s presidency. Having worked closely with Kelly for several years at the Pentagon (both in his roles as the senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and as the leader of U.S. Southern Command), I know he relishes a “regular order” process, does not suffer fools or showboats gladly, and hates politics. So it’s no surprise that he instantly soured on people like Anthony Scaramucci, and now, Bannon.
Hold the champagne. Bannon’s departure as chief strategist won’t make a huge difference – in fact things could get worse.
Sure, when it comes to the mechanics of making foreign policy, it will be helpful not to have Bannon around. He won’t be attending official meetings with foreign leaders, briefing the president in the Oval, sitting in the Situation Room, or enjoying access to sensitive intelligence. Outside the West Wing, he won’t have the direct means to shape the personnel process (by blocking appointments or pushing loyalists) or pull any bureaucratic levers. And he will no longer be an official voice in any foreign policy debate, whether on North Korea or China or Afghanistan.