Steve Bannon is back at Breitbart News, reportedly ready "for war" against many in the Trump administration. And Donald Trump seems to be cheering him on.
After Steve Bannon's departure from the White House and his return to Breitbart News — which, for all intents and purposes, he never truly left — the team at the so-called "alt-right" site, including Bannon himself, made their plans for the immediate future very clear.
A friend of Bannon noted that Breitbart is now "ramping up for war" against members of the Trump administration. That notion — ostensibly, one hopes, a metaphor — was echoed by a Breitbart editor's tweet using the unsubtle hashtag, #WAR.
And Bannon himself joined the violent wordplay, telling the Weekly Standard, "Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, 'it’s Bannon the Barbarian.'"
Bannon made it clear in that interview that he holds the "Republican establishment" in low regard, and that he is ready to put outsize pressure on Trump from his resumed perch at Breitbart, pushing for the far right, white nationalist agenda that he alleges "West Wing Democrats" and "globalists" prevented him from achieving within the White House.
Raheem Kassam, editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, actually told Fox News that the staffing changes and the failure to accomplish nationalist goals like the border wall and tax reform mean that the Trump White House "probably even looks a little bit more like an Obama White House."
So Bannon and Breitbart are ready to go to war against the federal government — a government which, thanks to the Trump family tradition of blatant nepotism, includes members of Trump's own family.
And Trump appears to be cheering it on from the sidelines.
Steve Bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at @BreitbartNews...maybe even better than ever before. Fake News needs the competition!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
"Even better than ever before" will apparently include launching attacks against anyone Bannon deems insufficiently right wing or racist enough, or those against whom he bears a grudge, like Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner — with whom Bannon had a starkly contentious relationship — as well as Trump's daughter Ivanka.
Breitbart's "war" will obviously also encompass any and all other members of Trump's inner circle and cabinet that displease Bannon and his white supremacist ideology. One likely target is National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was subjected to a smear campaign, thought to be orchestrated by Bannon, for denouncing the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville and calling it, correctly, domestic terrorism.
Bannon and his Breitbart brethren seem to be of one mind when it comes to the Trump White House, now that Bannon has left it.
And apparently, Trump himself is right in line with them, even as it position him against his own staff, and his own family.