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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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Ted Cruz Delegate and Texas GOP Leader Declares He’s a White Nationalist

Polipace Staff

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An influencial member of the Texas Republican Party’s 2018 platform committee proudly declared himself a racist “white nationalist,” according to The Texas Observer.

Ray Myers, 74, is very familiar with the political process. After serving as a delegate for Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign, the GOP operative worked as a volunteer for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Myers, has been involved in Republican politics for decades, The Texas Observerreports. He told Empower Texans that “the pivotal political moment came when Obama came on the scene. I knew immediately that America was in trouble.”

On November 27, 2018, the platform committee member wrote on Facebook, “Damn right, I’m a WHITE NATIONALIST and very proud of it.”

“I am (white) Anglo, and I’m very proud of it, just like Black people and brown people are proud of their race,” Myers told the Observer. “And white nationalist, all that means is America first. That’s exactly what that means. That’s where the president’s at. That’s where I’m at, and that’s where every solid patriotic American is. It doesn’t have anything to do with race or anything else.”

Myers blamed the media rather than history for the term’s current negative connotations and asked, “Is there anything wrong with saying they’re Black and proud? Is there anything wrong with being an American Indian and saying that we’re red and proud?

According to The Hill, Myers has been unafraid to use the BLM movement to support his pro-white views.

“I mean, just like Black Lives Matter, white lives matter, too,” Myers has said. “We’re all in the same melting pot. Now, why can’t we say, as Anglos, that we’re proud?”

J.T. Edwards, a Black member of State Republican Executive Committee, denounced Myers’ remarks shortly after they were posted. However, he does not think Myers’ opinions represent any larger opinions within the party.

“To have so-called white nationalists in our party is basically an abomination of the very foundations of the Republican Party,” Edwards said. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Mr. Myers’ position is part of the problem.”

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Federal Agents Raid Trump Tax Attorney

Polipace Staff

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Federal agents were seen at Chicago Ald. Ed Burke’s office at City Hall Thursday morning. The glass doors to Burke’s office were papered over, and the purpose of the visit was unclear, although Ed Burke has done considerable work for President Donald Trump taxes “over the last 12 years.”

According to Rawstory, “Although it is unclear whether the raid was related to President Donald Trump, the raid on Burke’s office is sure to raise eyebrows given that it came on the same day that Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow.”

Representatives for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Burke is both the alderman and the Democratic committeeman for the 14th Ward on the Southwest Side, as well as the longest-serving City Council member in Chicago history, first elected in 1969.

Widely considered to be one of the most powerful politicians in Chicago, Burke chairs the council’s Finance Committee.

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NRA Lost $55 million in 2017, and Expected to Lose More

Polipace Staff

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According to tax records obtained by The Daily Beast, the NRA reportedly lost a whopping $55 million in income from 2016 to 2017—a devastating downswing for an organization whose public profile has only grown in the gun-loving radiance of the Trump administration. Notably, almost 20 percent of the $98 million dollars taken in by the NRA in 2017 came from a single—and wouldn’t you know it, anonymous—donor.

Also, should be noted the National Rifle Association is doing away with free coffee and water coolers for employees at its Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters — a cost-cutting move that has NRA insiders “freaking out.”

The coffee cutback is the just latest indication that the NRA is hurting for cash.

In May, the gun group sued Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, claiming that his state’s zealous regulatory efforts against its Carry Guard insurance program had cost the NRA “tens of millions of dollars” in lost revenue, legal fees, and other damages. (A federal judge recently ruled that the suit can go forward.)

Additionally, the FBI investigation into their connection to Russia is “on going” and will most likely lead to more legal fees and financial problems.

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