President Donald Trump reportedly ordered his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his top aide ex-Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon to have a sit-down meeting to clear the air when they arrived at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend.
Politico said on Saturday that the sniping between the two men’s respective factions in the White House has reached a breaking point, with the president attempting to impose some discipline on his two must trusted aides.
“The sit-down, which was confirmed by two White House officials, was an attempt to smooth over tensions between the two men, which have dominated headlines for days,” wrote Alex Isenstadt and Josh Dawsey. “Whether the meeting was successful in creating a détente – and how long it lasts – is an open question, especially in a White House that has been dominated by infighting.”
After months of relatively smooth sailing and cooperation between Kushner and Bannon, tensions have erupted in recent weeks as the Trump administration has struggled to find its footing after a series of embarrassing failures including the rollout of its anti-Muslim travel ban and the failure it its healthcare bill to even reach the House floor for a vote.
Politico said, “The fight, people in the administration say, centers on policy differences. Bannon, White House chief strategist, is a flame-throwing populist who formerly ran Breitbart News. He has criticized Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, for his more politically moderate approach. Kushner is suspicious of Bannon’s fiery style and has been concerned about how he’s influencing the president.”
Bannon’s followers and fellow travelers among the white supremacist, anti-Semitic “alt-right” are fuming that their avatar appears to be losing the ear of the president. Bannon himself reportedly calls Kushner a “cuck” and a “globalist” behind his back, which are considered grave insults among people who hate Jews, immigrants and foreigners.
On Friday, a #FireKushner hashtag took off as far-right Bannon backers attacked the president’s son-in-law, who they view as a New York City Jewish Democrat who they fear will blunt Bannon’s ultraconservative, white nationalist agenda.