Yesterday Breitbart’s Matt Boyle ran a story that essentially said the skids were being greased to launch Reince Priebus from the Death Star.
Specifically, multiple sources close to President Trump with internal knowledge of White House operations told Breitbart News on Monday night that the buck stops with Priebus when it comes to the botched rollout of the executive order temporarily banning most travel to the United States from seven nations with a history of exporting terrorism and temporarily halting the refugee program. This news comes of course in the wake of the news that Flynn was pushed out, but also as more and more reports of a likely shake-up at the top loom.
“Reince is responsible, ultimately, for the rollout of the immigration executive order,” one source said. “He failed to get [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions on the calendar in the Senate in time for what he knew would be a highly controversial executive order. He was supposed to be this wizard in dealing with congressional Republicans, but has not been successful in getting anything serious done.”
(Forgive me, for I have sinned.)
Basically everyone who read this article assumed that Steve Bannon was behind it because it is rumored that he and Priebus don’t get along. The criticisms, on their face, are ludicrous. There is actually nothing in this laundry list of complaints that is even the chief of staff’s job other than the roll out of the executive order and we have it on pretty good authority that Priebus was largely cut out of that. But still, we are talking Steve Bannon.
Axios reports that not only was Bannon not behind it but he’s pretty unhappy that he’s been seemingly fingered as the source and instigator.
Far from Bannon orchestrating the leaks — as some have speculated — Trump’s chief strategist was furious. And he let Boyle know about his displeasure with the story being published. Bannon got Boyle on the phone and gave the Washington editor “both barrels,” according to a source familiar with the conversation.
The article lays out reasons why Bannon shouldn’t be blamed:
- Boyle is reflecting a growing anger on the nationalist right at Priebus. But it’s not just limited to the nationalist right. Priebus has made other enemies within the circles close to Trump.
- The President is getting plenty of advice — both solicited and unsolicited — to drop Priebus.
- Bannon is acutely aware that Breitbart is still viewed as his proxy. The idea that he’d arrange a hit piece against Priebus through his old publication doesn’t pass the laugh test.
- It’s also telling that Bannon went on the record to The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray telling her that Boyle’s story was “absurd.”
I’d encourage you to click through on the Rosie Gray story and read it. She’s pretty much a straight shooter and, to me, makes a compelling case why Bannon isn’t behind the story. If he isn’t behind the story it will be one of the few signs of maturity emerging from the White House recently.