A “Morning Joe” panel agreed President Donald Trump’s remarks in a New York Post interview likely spelled trouble for White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The president qualified his praise for Bannon by saying, “I like Steve, but,” and Trump told a reporter that he asked the former Breitbart News chief to patch up his relationship with Jared Kushner, another top aide who is married to Ivanka Trump.
Host Joe Scarborough, a ceaseless critic of Bannon, faulted the strategist for claiming credit for Trump’s success — and the president reminded reporters that he’d come aboard the campaign after his nomination was in hand.
“It’s not Steve Bannon’s worldview, it’s Donald Trump’s world view and it has been Donald Trump’s worldview,” Scarborough said. “The difference between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon is, Jared Kushner will do what Donald Trump wants him to do. Steve Bannon wants everybody to know he’s the puppet master.”
MSNBC’s Katy Tur, who covered the Trump campaign, said the fundamental problem with the administration is no one knows what the president wants because he’s not committed to any ideology and pursues policies on a whim.
“He can change his mind any moment and tweet something, and everybody has to scramble to find a policy to go with it,” she said.
A source told Tur that Bannon was “in a dark place right now,” as he feuds with Kushner, the president’s trusted aide and son-in-law.
“I will give you the lay of the land here,” Tur said. “So there are two major things that are going on right now. One of them, for Steve Bannon, is that the family is against him, as has been reported pretty widely. Jared Kushner, Ivanka, etc.”
“Secondly, that the poll numbers are not good,” she continued. “Donald Trump pays attention to poll numbers, he’s very aware of them. He might not acknowledge that they’re bad, he might try to sugarcoat them in public, but he’s very aware of public perception of him. Those two things are going wrong.”
Tur said sources compared Bannon’s predicament to former campaign officials Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski, who were forced out, respectively, over alleged Russian ties and for manhandling a woman reporter on video.
“You know, the real problem began, and insiders don’t know why, the real problem began when (Bannon) started attacking Kushner to third parties a couple weeks ago,” Scarborough said.