News that one of Trump’s closest advisor, Steve Bannon, had been ousted from his position within the National Security Council, only further reinforced the disturbing amount of chaos happening within the White House. People are fired abruptly. People resign abruptly. And the reasons why are always obscured through a mountain of lies.
In Bannon’s case, the official White House line was that he had only been placed in his role to keep an eye on disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
sr WH official tells me Bannon was only on NSC to keep an eye on Flynn & "de-operationalize NSC from Rice" & that he never went to a meeting
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) April 5, 2017
Unfortunately for Trump, the cover story was so hamfisted that it began falling apart almost immediately. In their rush to spin the story, top placed “anonymous sources” all began using the oddly specific word “de-operationalize” to describe Bannon’s role suggesting this was a talking point being crafted from the White House itself. The excuse that Bannon was there to watch Michael Flynn is even worse. Trump has repeatedly stood by Flynn, so claiming he wanted Bannon to watch him means he knew Flynn was a crook but put him in the job anyways. Not a good look.
What’s the real reason Bannon was slapped down? A source close to Trump told White House correspondent John Roberts that Trump had grown increasingly jealous of Bannon sharing his “limelight.”
“We are also told, though, that the president wasn’t particularly happy with the way Bannon had been grabbing the limelight and that may have also played into all of this.”
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) April 5, 2017
Which is kind of like life imitating art because for months people have been noting that the best (and perhaps only) way to stop severely unqualified Bannon from having influence in the White House would be to appeal to Trump’s massive ego.
Memo to all magazine editors: Put Bannon on the cover with big headlines referring to him as "The Real President." https://t.co/tMHXB5ZpVN
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 7, 2017
And Politico reported in February that Trump was already furious that Bannon was getting some of the credit for his administration’s actions. It’s an issue that’s been nagging at him for months.
Hilariously, Saturday Night Live seized upon this unique opportunity to piss off Trump by referring to a grim reaper clothed Bannon as “President Bannon,” playing up the fact that Trump wasn’t really in charge.
Apparently, this childish play on Trump’s narcissism actually worked. Trump would never go after Bannon because he’s unqualified and overtly racist, or that he once described himself as Satan and Darth Vader. But Trump would certainly go after Bannon for getting too much attention. And he just did.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images