Former White House chief strategist and Breitbart captain Steve Bannon is running his scorched earth strategy against not just those Republican politicians that he feels are insufficiently worshipful of Trump, but GOP donors, as well.
How is that supposed to work, if he takes out everybody that might otherwise support Trump, or at least, not attempt to impeach him?
Anyway, his latest target is billionaire hedge fund guy, and big league GOP donor, Paul Singer.
On a Friday night call to the president, Bannon reportedly told Trump that he was going to unleash on Singer.
So what has Singer done so wrong?
Well, he opposed Trump during the primaries, but eventually came around, mending fences, and even donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund. He’s also cut some serious checks to fund outside groups that are helping to push Trump’s tax reform moves.
He’s not an enemy of Trump, per se.
According to a recent Axios report, however, that’s not stopping Bannon.
Trump agreed with Bannon that it needed to be done, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. (Though I’m also told that Trump has since told at least one other person that Singer is “on the team” — suggesting that maybe he’s telling everyone what they want to hear.)
Trump has no ideological mooring, nor does he have the intellectual capacity to understand what he’s saying or who is friend or foe.
No, Singer’s crime is that he funds the Washington Free Beacon, the outlet that recently outed itself as the conservative source of initial funding to Fusion GPS, in its research of candidate Trump.
What began with the Free Beacon was picked up by Democrats later, and was eventually turned into the Russia dossier that suggested there were ties to Russia that could be used to blackmail Trump, should he win the presidency.
- A source close to Singer said the billionaire had no idea who Fusion GPS was until they became a subject of news reports related to Trump and Russia. Though the source added that of course Singer generally knew — and it was public knowledge — that the website he funds, the Washington Free Beacon, paid for opposition research.
I wouldn’t call this an offense to attack, but to Bannon, and I’m sure to his alt-right marauders, this will be seen as reason enough to bring Singer down.
In their Friday phone call, Bannon told Trump he had been looking for a long time “to set things right with Singer and his entire crew,” according to a source familiar with the conversation.
- Since the NYT story broke, Bannon’s right-wing media outlet, Breitbart News, has been relentlessly attacking Singer and calling on politicians who’ve taken money from him to return the donations.
Yeah. Why would they do that? First of all, they need those donations. Second of all, he didn’t do anything wrong.
Bannon is actively working to cut off the lifeline to the Republican party with his attacks that serve a dual purpose: alienate the big money donors, causing them to pull their support, and alienate the average voter, losing their support, as well.
How he figures this helps the president, I have no idea.
Bannon has long despised Singer. In Bannon’s worldview, Singer belongs to a “globalist” cabal that favors open borders and includes other bogeymen and bogeywomen such as George Soros and Hillary Clinton. It’s also helpful to Bannon that Singer has close ties Mitch McConnell — the Senate GOP leader whom Bannon is obsessed with destroying.
Bannon’s vision for a small, isolated world is going to end up ruining us, if people don’t start shutting him out.