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Alarm bells are ringing

Russian Style Politics at the White House

January 31, 2017
Plain English Version
Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon. Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/GETTY

Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon. Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/GETTY

The man’s name is Stephen Bannon. Donald Trump hired him during the campaign. He has far right wing views. He is a nationalist, and he is anti-immigrant. Most of what Trump has done that has made headlines comes from Bannon’s office in the White House.

Bannon came from Breitbart.com. It is a hard-right website. It is a place where neo-Nazis and white supremacists have a voice. The site speaks out against immigrants. Bannon is the person behind Trump’s order restricting immigration.

Bannon is an all-out ‘take no prisoners’ person. He was behind the claim of ‘carnage’ in the streets. The claim was a part of Trump’s inauguration speech.

Bannon is a foe of the media. He said the media was “embarrassed and humiliated” by Trump’s victory.  He said the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” He went on, “The media here is the opposition party.”

The National Security Council (NSC) is in the White House. Its focus is on foreign policy and the use of the armed forces. It is an agency where domestic politics has no place.

The president chose retired General Michael Flynn to head the NSC. Flynn has been losing clout since the transition. Some of the mistakes were of his making. Other are because of a change in Trump’s outlook. Much of the change is due to Bannon. Trump made Bannon a full member of the NSC.

Trump hired generals and business people to run the Pentagon and the State Department.He may regret that. They may get in the way of his need to celebrate himself. Vladimir Putin may be Trump’s role model.

Trump’s move puts Bannon on a par with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In effect, Trump and Bannon are turning the NSC into a political arm of the White House. Former White House officials said they could not think of a worse idea.

Bannon pushes Trump’s buttons. Take on the press. Make outrageous claims about crowd size and illegal voters.

Bannon is the voice of the hard right. Trump may have found the right man for the coming battle. A battle that is all about Trump.

Source: The New York Times January 29, 2017

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