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Why the Trump-Bannon Feud Will Destroy the White House

Jules Witcover

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The dramatic breakup between Donald Trump and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has blown wide open the political direction of the Trump presidency at a particularly inopportune time.

It comes just as Trump is frantically seeking to stabilize a presidency besieged by internal chaos and to cope with his own Justice Department’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian agents meddling in the 2016 election.

The president already has his hands full trying to discredit that probe, and by association Special Counsel Robert Mueller, even as Trump insists he has no intention of firing him. He also has now he has turned against Bannon, his onetime guru.

The catalyst for this bizarre bombshell is a soon-to-be-released insider book on Trump and his administration by free-lance writer Michael Wolff. In it, Bannon is said to have described Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian officials at Trump Tower in 2016 as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” — among other explosive contentions.

In reply to derogatory remarks Bannon made about Trump family members, the president contended that Bannon’s role in his campaign and first months of his administration were overblown. Of his old close adviser he tweeted, “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he has lost his mind.” Bannon, he said, had “very little to do with our historic victory.” Trump also instructed his lawyers to send Bannon and Wolff cease-and-desist letters, citing an alleged breach of a nondisclosure agreement Bannon has supposedly signed.

It’s clear now that Bannon has become another cross for the president to bear among an accumulating list of critics in and out of his Republican Party. After being fired by Trump, Bannon returned to his old job running the alt-right Breitbart News website, which formerly was a conspicuous cheerleader for the president. But now it but has become a vehicle for Bannon’s own political ambitions, including clashes with the Republican Party establishment and national committee that he appears to be targeting for a takeover.

Beyond revealing the breakup itself, Wolff’s book provides a stinging insight into what some White House insiders thought of the president. One fired campaign aide, Sam Nunberg, is quoted as saying he was assigned to tutor Trump on the Constitution. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” he said, “before … his eyes are rolling back in his head.” Bannon himself is said to have commented that Trump’s daughter Ivanka was “dumb as a brick.”

Also, a former deputy chief of staff, Katie Walsh, is quoted as saying that trying to deal with the president was “like trying to figure out what a child wants” — an observation she later denied having made.

Wolff also reports Walsh says she was obliged to respond to three different Trump power centers: Reince Priebus, the first chief of staff, Bannon and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“For Walsh,” Wolff writes, “it was a daily process of managing an impossible task: almost as soon as she received direction from one of the three men, she would be countermanded by one of another of them.”

It was no wonder the Trump White House came off from the outside as a confused madhouse, with a president constantly getting mixed messages and making decisions as an ill-informed neophyte would-be politician.

Whether all the disclosures Wolff has reported are accurate or not, taken together they constitute more tasty morsels for both the conventional news media and the social media platforms Trump himself so favors.

As a new year gets started, there are already more than enough reasons to worry about the state of the union in the era of Donald J. Trump and his merry band of confusion-spinners.

Jules Witcover’s latest book is “The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power.” Send email to juleswitcover@comcast.net.

Jules Witcover is a veteran political columnist going back to his days as one of The Boys on the Bus. His thrice-weekly column combines 65 years of reporting and institutional memory in assessing current events against the background of witnessed history. He is the author of 14 books and co-author of five on American politics and history. The latest is “The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power,” published by Smithsonian Books.

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Trump

Estate of Prince Asks Trump to Stop Stealing His Song

Polipace Staff

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Donald Trump is apparently a fan of late Prince. The President of United States has been using the late singer’s hit song “Purple Rain” at pre-Election Day rallies, including one in Mississippi last week. However, Prince’s family members are not happy about it and have asked Trump to stop playing his songs.

In a statement released through the singer’s half-brother Omarr Baker, Prince’s estate stated, “The Prince Estate have never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediate

With that, the Prince estate is the latest in a long line of musicians who asked Trump to stop using their music at his rallies. Among them are The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Tom Petty. Recently, Steven Tyler sent him a cease and desist letter asking him to stop using Aerosmith’s music at rallies. It came after Trump played the band’s 1993 hit “Livin’ on the Edge” at a West Virginia rally without Tyler’s permission.

“This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans,” the band’s frontman said in a statement. “I do not let anyone use my songs without my permission. My music is for causes not political campaigns or rallies. Protection copyright and songwriters is what I’ve been fighting for even before this current administration took office. This is one of the reasons why Joe and I have been pushing the Senate to pass the Music Modernization Act. NO is a complete sentence.”

Music Modernization Act legislation itself was officially signed by Trump earlier this week. Kanye West and Kid Rock, as well as executives from the music industry, attended the event.

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Trump

Trump Attacks President Lincoln, Embraces Racist Confederate General in Rant

Polipace Staff

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Trump has decided that the racist confederate leader, Robert E. Lee is really deserving of praise — but President Lincoln, who freed the slaves has some serious issues he wants to talk about.

Near the end of his rally speech, Trump also offered praise for Civil War General Robert E. Lee, saying Lincoln almost developed “a phobia” about being unable to defeat him, until Gen. Ulysses Grant, who Trump noted had “a drinking problem,” but is recognized as a great person.

This is a strange claim, because even Robert E. Lee himself admitted that he waged a war to hold onto legal institution of white supremacy. How Trump is supposed to gain more black voters by praising known racists

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Entertainment

Donald Trump Jr. and Aubrey O’Day Tried to Have A Baby While His Wife Was Pregnant

Polipace Staff

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Donald Trump Jr. and Aubrey O’Day’s affair was much more than a one-night stand, so much so that they even considered the prospect of starting a family together.

Multiple sources confirmed tothat President Donald Trump’s eldest son, 40, and the former Danity Kane member, 34, began an intimate relationship after meeting on the season 5 set of The Celebrity Apprentice in late 2011. The dalliance continued until March 2012, when his wife, Vanessa Trump, found email exchanges between her husband and O’Day and forced them to stop.

Sources say that Vanessa — who filed for divorcefrom President Donald Trump’s eldest son after 13 years of marriage — was devastated when he told her that he planned to leave her for O’Day.

It seems like the former Celebrity Apprentice adviser was the one who started things. A source told Page Six he “pursued [Aubrey]. It was him who chased her,” and, “he told her that his marriage was already in the process of dissolving” in 2011.

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