Donald Trumps chief strategist Stephen Bannon has called the presidents senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner a cuck and a globalist during a time of high tension between the two top aides, several Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast.
The fighting between Kushner and Bannon has been nonstop in recent weeks, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Its been an open secret that Bannon and Kushner often clash face-to-face, according to senior officials.
One official said Bannon has lately complained about Kushner trying to shiv him and push him out the door and likened him to a fifth column in the White House.
[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a globalist and a cuckHe actually said cuck, as in cuckservative, the administration official told The Daily Beast.
Cuckservative, a portmanteau of cuckold and conservative, has become a favorite slur on the right, used like a sexually and racially charged version of RINO, a Republican In Name Only. Globalist is a term typically used by nationalist, pro-Trump right-wingers against political opponents; however, the term has also come under fire for at times carrying anti-Semitic tones. (Kushner is Jewish.)
Bannon is a self-described nationalist and long-time Republican, while Kushner was, until his father-in-law ran for president, a lifelong liberal and a Democratic donor.
Theres a big fight [going on], one senior official said. Its all about policy. Theres tension [between them] on trade, health care, immigration, taxes, [terrorism]you name it.
The White House and Bannon did not respond to emails seeking comment.
One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner continuing to bring in Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options, for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.
In 2009, conservatives called Emanuel Dr. Death for advocating for end-of-life consultations during the crafting of the Affordable Care Act. (He is also the brother of Barack Obamas former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.)
"Steve thinks Jared is worse than a Democrat, basically," another official close to Bannon said. "[Steve] has a very specific vision for what he believes, and what he shares [ideologically] with Trump. And he has for a long time now seen [Jared] as a major obstacle to achieving that."
Bannon was removed from his post on the National Security Council on Wednesday. One senior Trump administration official told The Daily Beast on Wednesday morning that Bannon was "only on [NSC] to babysit [Michael] Flynn" because Trump "was losing faith" in Flynn, and that Bannon "never went to meetings."
The official also said that the removal had been planned for a while and that it was "in the works from the day" Bannon met National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Another senior aide told the Beast that "that's [all] spin and CYA, but fine," but mentioned that Bannon still has security clearance.
Furthermore, two big efforts spearheaded by Bannon in the Trump administration recently failed. Trumps Muslim ban executive orders, crafted in large part by Bannon, are at best indefinitely tied up in court, and his pugilistic push on Trumpcare which included Bannon urging Trump to keep a shit list of Republicans who opposed him didnt get the job done.
On Wednesday, Politico and The New York Times reported that things had gotten so heated and tense that Bannon was even considering tendering his resignation. Bannon told Politico this was total nonsense.
However, its clear that Kushner has been expanding his reach and level of influence in Trumps core circle of advisers, and that the two men are essentially working against one another as they attempt to keep the presidents ear and affections.
I love a gunfight, Bannon told his associates and allies since Wednesday, according to Axios.
The Times also reported that Bannons Svengali-style reputation has chafed on a president who sees himself as the West Wings only leading man, and that several associates said the president had quietly expressed annoyance over the credit Mr. Bannon had received for setting the agendaand Mr. Trump was not pleased by the President Bannon puppet-master theme promoted by magazines, late-night talk shows and Twitter.
A Republican source close to Trump told The Daily Beast confirmed this level of insecurity over Bannons reputation coming from the president, and mentioned that the president was irked after catching a glimpse of a recent cold-open on Saturday Night Live.
Bannon was depicted as a Grim Reaper character who manipulates Alec Baldwins President Trump into sowing global chaos and diplomatic breakdown. At the end of the scene, Bannon tells Trump to give him his Oval Office desk back. Baldwins Trump calls the Reaper Mr. President, and then proceeds to go sit at his own much smaller, shorter desk, where the president plays with a kids toy instead of governing.
"Did you see this crap?" Trump asked the confidante, referring to the SNL sketch.
For the time being, both Bannon and Kushner, and their respective allies in the White House, are digging in for a cold, if not increasingly hotter, war. For instance, Bannons far-right media allies are ready to wage a sustained war on their new enemy, Kushner.
Jared Kushner, perhaps the one presidential aide who cannot be fired, is now in regular text message communications with Joe Scarborough, Roger Stone, a former longtime political adviser to Trump, claimed on Alex Joness show. Many of the anti-Steve Bannon stories that you see, the themes that you see on [MSNBCs] Morning Joe, are being dictated by Kushner. And while Mr. Kushners plate is very full with Middle Eastern peace and the China visit, and so on, in this case I think he is disserving the president.
Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell: the three big-government liberals tightening their hold on the White House, influential right-wing radio host Mark Levin warned on Twitter on Wednesday night.
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