The civil war inside the White House is real, and it's nasty. The Daily Beast is reporting that the tension is so high that officials are now name-calling behind each other's backs, with Bannon escalating it to the point where he's calling Jared Kushner a "cuck" and a "globalist" behind his back.
“[Bannon] recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck’…He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in “cuckservative,’” one official told the Daily Beast.
Interesting that "cuck" mattered more to that official than "globalist," when that term is generally used as a white nationalist sneer at Jewish people. But either way, it's quite Bannonesque. Breitbart was one of the first to amplify the whole "cuckservative" epithet, after all.
Bannon was already in trouble with Trump, according to a New York Times report published yesterday. “Bannon’s Svengali-style reputation has chafed on a president who sees himself as the West Wing’s only leading man,” the report said. “Several associates said the president had quietly expressed annoyance over the credit Mr. Bannon had received for setting the agenda—and Mr. Trump was not pleased by the ‘President Bannon’ puppet-master theme promoted by magazines, late-night talk shows and Twitter.”
The conflict appears to arise out of the fact that Bannon and Kushner are not on the same page when it comes to policy. Bannon, who has long been a right-wing extremist, is on the side of the Freedom Caucus when it comes to issues like health care and trade, whereas Kushner has tended to be more liberal. In the past, at least.
If there is one single indicator of who is winning this battle, it is health care. According to reports, Steve Bannon has been tasked with shepherding the Republican plan to gut our healthcare system through Congress, a losing proposition that will only diminish him over time.
I'm guessing there will be no more meetings with Zeke Emanuel.
One senior Trump aide said that Bannon was also frustrated with Kushner “continuing to bring in Zeke Emanuel to discuss health care options,” for instance. The aide said Emanuel has had three White House meetings, including one with Trump.
Nor will any Republican plan to change healthcare succeed, particularly with recent polls showing that a majority of Republicans and Trump voters support expanding Medicare to everyone.
So basically, Bannon is being set up to fail. It could not happen to a nicer guy.