Where oh where did our little Bannon go? Oh, where oh where can he be?
Steve Bannon, one of President Trump’s most vocal and once-convincing advisors has “disappeared from the White House’s most sensitive policy debates.”
Bannon, according to Politico, “chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile.”
…[H]aving chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague.
He was absent from Trump’s recent trips to Europe for the G-20 summit and from his visit with French President Emmanuel Macron. Bannon’s non-attendance is all the more noteworthy given his interest in European history and politics, particularly his antipathy to the European Union.
And while Trump’s rousing call in Warsaw for the defense of Western civilization echoed the populist ideology Bannon promoted as chief of the right-wing website Breitbart News, two senior White House aides said Bannon had no hand in crafting Trump’s populist address.
Indeed, one senior White House aide stated Bannon’s name was not even mentioned.
Bannon goes from “a near-constant presence in the Oval Office” to camping out “at the conference table in the office of White House chief of staff Reince Preibus.”
But even though some have considered Bannon “invisible” or “missing in action,” he still plays a rather significant role advising his boss “through the nonstop crises buffeting the West Wing.”T And there are plenty of circumstances that the President needs advice on right now.
And much of this AWOL status could be Bannon’s attempt to muster a more positive image (eschewing Saturday Night Live’s portrayal of him as the Grim Reaper, for example) before the alleged White House purge believed to come in August.
Either way, Bannon’s reduced visibility decreases his influence and raises questions.
After his fallout with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear the Trump campaign tell Bannon “don’t let the door hit you…” next month.