RUSH: Let’s start on the phones in the Bronx. This is Pedro. Pedro, great to have you up first today on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Rush. I’m just curious. Why should we give Trump so much leeway on flip-flops and changing his mind on so many issues when we don’t afford the same to other Republicans?
RUSH: You don’t have to if you don’t want to. You don’t have to give him any leeway.
CALLER: Well, we are. We’re letting him get away with stuff. Look, the West Wing is full of Democrats. You predicted it about two or three weeks ago when they wrote a piece about Bannon being in charge. You said this is to mess with Trump’s mind.
RUSH: This guy’s got a very good memory. I know exactly what he’s talking about.
RUSH: Tell me if this is right, Pedro. I was talking about a Washington Post piece. It was a Sunday story, big, long story that talked about the rivalry in the White House between the Bannon wing and the Democrat wing in there, the Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn wing. And at that point the Bannon wing was prevailing, they were winning all the arguments and they were winning all the debates for Trump’s —
RUSH: — favor, but the point was that there were a lot and are a lot of Democrats in the Trump inner circle and that they do not believe very much of what Trump said on the campaign trail, and they are trying — this is what you’re referring to, right?
CALLER: Well, no, it was something about Saturday Night Live and the TIME magazine when they’re saying Bannon is the president, and you said this is to make Trump, to play mind games —
RUSH: Oh. Oh. Oh. Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay. That’s true too. TIME magazine, the cover story on the second most powerful man, the shadow presidency, and Saturday Night Live doing the same thing. And I said what they’re trying to do here, trying to tick off Trump. They’re trying to get to Trump’s ego. They’re trying to tell Trump, they’re trying to upset him, make everybody think that Bannon’s really running the show.
And so Trump’s out there telling Michael Goodwin the New York Post (paraphrasing), “I don’t need a strategist. I’m my own strategist. I don’t know Steve very well. I like Steve, he’s a good guy, but I told him, ‘You guys fix it or I will.'” This is part of what I want to get into here.
RUSH: I saw a piece in the Wall Street Journal today by Daniel Henninger, and I want to read just one thing to you from it, which will give you a perspective of some in the Republican establishment about the Trump presidency. “In the past few weeks –” writes Mr. Henninger, “– the Gorsuch appointment, the Syrian strike, the meeting with China’s Xi Jinping — we are finally seeing the beginning of the real Trump presidency.”
The real Trump presidency. Yes, you see, now Trump’s turning into what they think a real president does. All this immigration stuff, screw that. All of this trade talk, screw that. But now we can finally embrace the guy ’cause he’s meeting with the ChiComs, he’s bombing Syria, and he put a good conservative on the bench, even though the Gorsuch appointment happened long ago, his confirmation was of course last week.
Anyway, this takes me to my discussion here on the news about Steve Bannon. Have you ever seen, folks, as much coverage, commentary, newspapers, cable news networks, late-night programs, have you ever seen as much attention paid to a presidential adviser? You haven’t. You have not. Interestingly, I think somebody maybe second or third place. When Kissinger was secretary of state and I was gonna say Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was the first guy Jimmy Carter met with every morning. Brzezinski met with Rockefeller and then he went over to the White House to tell Carter what Rockefeller said every morning. (laughing) I’m sorry, folks. The Rockefeller part didn’t happen except in the conspiracy books. Ahem. Excuse me.
But Brzezinski, who is the father by the way of Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC, he was national security adviser, and he was an advisor. And Washington, the establishment loved him. But I can’t think of any president adviser who’s gotten anywhere near the attention Bannon has gotten. And what is that attention? Virtually all of it that you find in the Drive-By Media is rooted around the fact the guy’s got to go. He’s got to go. And every news story is oriented around that premise, that he’s got to go and that we in the media, we’re gonna force it, we’re gonna get rid of the guy.
It was no accident that he got a TIME magazine cover in the third week of Trump’s presidency referring to him as the real president behind the scenes. That was done because all these people think that Trump has the shallowest ego ever, and they think you can really manipulate Trump by simply playing nice or mean with his ego.
Saturday Night Live, as our previous caller made mention of the fact that they’re treating Bannon as the real president. Bannon shows up at CPAC with Reince Priebus, says we’re gonna dismantle the administrative state. They had a cow in the Drive-By Media and in the Washington. You can’t do that! You can’t! Because dismantling the administrative state is another way of saying you’re gonna drain the swamp.
And so all of the focus in the media is on Bannon, and it first started out with how dangerous he is, how he’s got Trump’s ear, how Trump really doesn’t have a mind of his own, but Bannon does, and Bannon’s the guy steering Trump, and this is not good. That Bannon is the alt-right white supremacist nationalist. That Bannon is the guy that doesn’t want the U.S. to even be in the world, and if you could put the country on a different planet, he would. It’s Bannon that’s trying to poison Trump’s mind. Bannon that hates Jared Kushner. Bannon hates Ivanka Trump. Bannon hates everybody. Bannon’s a pig, Trump’s a pig, together they’re piggish and it’s dangerous. We gotta get rid of Bannon. If we get rid of Bannon then Trump can somehow be saved and be a nice guy.
And it continues. So Michael Goodwin win was at the White House the other day and scored an interview. He’s at the New York Post, he’s an opinion columnist, and he had an interview with Trump. I’ll paraphrase what he quoted Trump as saying. “You gotta remember, you gotta remember Bannon didn’t come on my campaign ’til after I’d beaten everybody. I’d beaten all the governors, I’d beaten all the senators, he came in late, I didn’t even know him. He came in late. I like him, I like him, but I am my own strategist. I don’t need a strategist.”
Everybody read that, “Bannon’s on the way out, all right, all right! Bannon’s on the way out!” I’ve never seen people — the way they want to get rid of Bannon they usually reserve for way they want to get rid of presidents they don’t like, like Nixon or Reagan. But they want to get rid of this guy Bannon like nothing I’ve ever seen. And the stories on this rival in intensity this made-up story on collusion between Trump and Russia.
Now, they can’t put Bannon in that story so they got Carter Page for that. But, man. Now, just today we have the Washington Post: “Inside Bannon’s Struggle: From ‘Shadow President’ to Trump’s Marked Man.” You know what this is? You may not remember this. Some of you will. During the days of the old Soviet Union when Mao Tse-tung was alive, let’s stick with the Soviet Union. Every May Day, the Soviet Union Politburo leadership would go stand outside in front of the Kremlin and watch the military and mortars and rockets and so forth parade by in a show of strength.
And Kremlin watchers always paid attention to who was standing nearest the premier of the day. If it was Brezhnev, who’s standing to his left, who’s standing to his right, if it’s Yuri Andropov, same thing, Gorbachev, and in that sense, we try to guess, okay, who’s in and who’s out? Because communist countries never tell you. Even when their leaders die they don’t tell you.
When Mao Tse-tung died, they faked that for two years. They even Photoshopped pictures of him swimming in the Yangtze river with his head bobbing up like a bobblehead. They tried to tell us he was actually swimming at age 85 or 90, whatever it was. And he’d been room temperature for many years.
So trying to get this idea of who has got the Soviet premier’s ear. Doing the same with Bannon. “Is Bannon at the NSC? I thought he just got kicked out of the NCS. What’s he doing at the NSC? Did you see he was at the NSC meeting in Mar-a-Lago, but how could that happen?” Because he was kicked out of it, they thought. But yet there he was.
So every day they’re studying Bannon. They’re studying where he shows up with Priebus. Do he and Priebus still have a rivalry going? Is Bannon still trying to get rid of Priebus? Is Priebus still trying to get rid of Bannon? Does Bannon hate Kushner? Is Kushner trying to get Bannon? Do they hate each other? Is Bannon really overstepping so bad that Ivanka has had to join up with Kushner to get rid of him and they’re angling with their own dad to get rid of? This is daily this kind of stuff.
And so the picture that has been presented and what everybody’s living off of today is you have Trump over here who one day loved Bannon because he was just like Trump. He was a white supremacist. He was a nationalist. He was a populist, America first, and that’s when they had to get rid of Bannon. And then the stories came that there are a lot of people inside the Trump White House that don’t like Bannon, he’s uncouth, he’s a pig, he’s got too much influence, he’s dangerous.
So then we got stories that Jared Kushner, the 36-year-old son-in-law, because he’s married to Ivanka, is now in a knock-down, drag-out with Bannon and he’s gonna win because Jared’s family. And that’s what this all means, the quotes to Michael Goodwin about Bannon not being all that valuable, not being needed as a strategist. “I didn’t know Bannon all that long. I frankly can’t even remember why I picked him,” that kind of stuff. And over here you have Jared Kushner as a quasi-shadow secretary of state. Tillerson goes to Moscow but Jared’s in the Middle East.
And all this palace intrigue. But there’s some people never mentioned in the same way Bannon is mentioned. And those people, we’ve talked about ’em here. Gary Cohn, who is the leader of the Democrats in the Trump White House. His aide is somebody named Dina Powell, and Jared Kushner is put in that group and that they’re all aligned against Bannon. But there are other people here that we never hear about in these battles inside the White House.
We never hear the name H. R. McMaster. We don’t hear any of the names of the prominent people at the National Security Council. It’s all Bannon, and it’s all Jared. And it’s all oriented — I’m telling you, the media is thinking that they can force Bannon out by playing to Trump’s ego, and they think this New York Post interview that Trump gave to Michael Goodwin is proof positive that they are succeeding.
But I don’t think the Bannon-Kushner battle is the battle that’s actually worth paying attention in there. I go back to this Washington Post story that’s easily over a month old now. And the Washington Post story had Bannon and Stephen Miller and a number of Trump loyalists in an ongoing battle with the so-called Democrats that Trump had picked to be in the inner circle, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell.
And so I looked into that. I actually checked into it, and I found out that the Washington Post story was actually true, that that battle was going on. Jared Kushner, he was in it but not prominently so. He’s always been positioned as anti-Bannon. I don’t think that’s really what’s happening now. I think all of this is missing it. I think all of it is a bit of a smoke screen. Because, you know, the Washington Post has their story, “Inside Bannon’s Struggle: From ‘Shadow President’ to Trump’s Marked Man.”
New York Times: “Trump Undercuts Bannon Whose Job May Be in Danger.”
AP: “Is Bannon in Peril? Trump Comments Worry His Populist Base.” In every one of these stories there’s no evidence. Honest to God, the New York Times, all of this is reported but it’s from anonymous sources who do not provide any evidence. It’s just that the media is choosing to believe the anonymous sources.
“One person with firsthand knowledge of internal White House dynamics, who asked not to be identified … insisted that no immediate changes were likely.” Well, then why are you doing these stories? If no immediate changes are likely, why in the world, what’s the hubbub here? It goes back to if there’s no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia, then what the heck are all these stories about? Well, they’re trying to make news and create news here.
But I think it’s quite telling, folks, that we don’t have any stories involving intrigue about Gary Cohn. And we don’t have any stories involving intrigue about H. R. McMaster. I mean, these people are in Trump’s inner circle well. The same with Dina Powell. The stories are universally about Bannon and how he’s got to go and how he’s the problem and how he’s got the president’s ear. And this guy is so off the mainstream, he’s the white nationalist, he’s the populist, he’s got Trump’s ear and he’s poison and he’s dangerous.
And if the truth be known, what Bannon is probably doing is trying to prevent establishment types from succeeding in co-opting and influencing Trump totally. That would be my guess. That’s what I think the real battle going on in there is. The fact that it’s only Bannon mentioned and it’s always Bannon that has to go, Bannon is the problem. It’s just too pat. And it’s just too predictable. The media always focuses on the people they consider the threats.
Remember my old adage, the Democrats will always tell us who they fear by trying to take them out. The media is the Democrats and they’ll always tell us who they fear. And, believe me, they don’t want to get rid of Bannon ’cause it’s gonna help Trump. They don’t want to force Bannon out of there ’cause it’s gonna make Trump a better president. That’s not what they’re about. With these people, it is all political. It is all ideological.
RUSH: Here’s Raj in Minneapolis. Raj, glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. How are you doing?
CALLER: Good. I’m American of Indian origin and I am super sad about the media stories about Bannon being pushed out. I should be the last person who should be sad based on all of the media commentary about his alt-right links, but I am super sad. And I did some research on Jared Kushner, and I was amazed to find the battle between him and Marc Mezvinsky, who’s married to Chelsea Clinton. Both are elite, wealthy, East Coast liberals who have convicted criminals, their fathers. And I’m like —
RUSH: Raj, hang on. Are you saying that Kushner and Bannon are both East Coast elites?
CALLER: No, no, no, I’m talking about Marc Mezvinsky who’s married to Chelsea Clinton, and Jared Kushner, who’s married to Ivanka Trump. Both of these presidential candidate —
RUSH: Oh. Oh. Oh. Okay. I’m having to follow you on the transcription of your call, and it’s tough. So you’re talking —
RUSH: You’re drawing analogy between Jared Kushner and Marc Mezvinsky.
CALLER: Exactly. They’re both —
RUSH: Wait. I thought your problem was with Bannon?
CALLER: No. My problem is not at all with Bannon. I want Bannon to continue. I mean, I think his thoughts, his sad eyes, the way his heart beats, it beats for America, is what Trump needs in an adviser. Not the Jared Kushners and the neocons and the globalists of that kind.
RUSH: Oh! Jared Kushner and the neocons. So you think Jared Kushner and the neocons are aligning against Bannon to get him out of there so they can convert Trump into the newest version of the neocon president?
CALLER: Yeah, whatever. I mean, I just don’t think bombing Syria was a good idea. I mean, you know, he saw some dead babies so, oh, my God —
RUSH: Well, the Wall Street Journal loved it, Raj. The Wall Street Journal loved bombing Syria and they’re probably having orgasms here over the bomb in Afghanistan.
CALLER: Exactly. So I don’t like it at all. I think Bannon needs to be back. Kushner needs to be out. Trump needs to stop indulging his daughter.
RUSH: Okay. Let me share a story with you here from the Washington Free Beacon that I was made aware of last night, Raj. Now, hang on. Don’t hang up, ’cause I want to get your feedback to this, but wait until I ask you your opinion before you say anything. This is a story that actually was from two o’clock yesterday afternoon but I didn’t see it until last night.
Washington Free Beacon. Washington Free Beacon is not the Drive-By Media. Headline: “New Front In White House Civil War as Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC.” Now, stick with me on this, folks. It’s by Adam Kredo, the writer.
“White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner is leading an unprecedented effort to meddle in the White House’s National Security Council, causing mayhem for senior staff who say the president’s son-in-law is interfering in key foreign policy debates, according to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Kushner has taken aggressive action to micro-manage the NSC, overshadowing even recently installed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to sources both inside and outside the White House who described Kushner’s behavior as highly unusual and damaging to the country’s national security infrastructure.”
So, Raj, let me ask you, where do you think this story comes from? Who’s leaking this? Because somebody is dumping all over Jared. Somebody is really trying to take Jared out here, not Bannon.
CALLER: I don’t know. I mean, I’m not even going by the stories. I’m reading some of them, but in my opinion, the biggest mistake that Trump made was pushing out Michael Flynn. McMaster is another guy who’s, you know, a neocon hawk. We don’t want these guys in there. Michael Flynn would have been great.
RUSH: All right. Okay. Well, yeah, so you are a Trumpist who’s worried here that Trump’s doing things that you thought he promised he wouldn’t be doing?
CALLER: Exactly and I think he’s being led by —
RUSH: And therefore somebody’s making him do it, and that’s what you’re saying. And you think Bannon’s a safeguard. So somebody’s making him. You think it’s Kushner, who’s the young neocon in there pushing Trump into doing these things?
CALLER: I think so. I mean, that’s the explanation that I get from reading all these things.
RUSH: All right. Okay. I know you said you’re not reading things, which is why I wanted to explain it to you and hopefully capturing your thoughts on it. Now, this story here, folks, this doesn’t fit. This doesn’t fit anything out there. You need a host like me to be able to spot these things, sort of like reading the stitches on a fastball or recognizing the change-up before it’s thrown.
Now, let’s put this in context or in some sort of — not a timeline, but you know as well as I do that for the past — well, the entirety of the Trump presidency, the long knives have been out for Bannon to one degree or another. For days at a time it’s intense: Bannon’s gotta go, Bannon’s a problem, Bannon’s a pig, Bannon’s this, white supremacist. Then it goes dormant for a while. And then it reemerges. Something happens, Bannon once again is a bad guy, gotta get Bannon out. It seems like the whole White House West Wing is leaking against Bannon.
And in the most recent stories, the archenemy of Bannon is said to be Jared Kushner and that it is Priebus and Bannon who have now aligned. They were originally portrayed as enemies competing for power. But in the last month or so the stories have had Priebus and Bannon lined up together defending their front from Jared and whoever he’s with, Ivanka.
And then in the midst of all of this, here comes a story dumping all over Jared and accusing Jared of trying to take over the entire National Security Council operation. Now, who would be bothered by that, if that is indeed happening? Why, it would be none other than the national security adviser. Who’s that? Can you give me a name, Mr. Snerdley?
That’d be H. R. McMaster who was tabbed one day at Mar-a-Lago, he was there with General Kelly on the big sofa, and the Drive-Bys went orgasmic. “Oh, what a brilliant choice. This may save the Trump presidency for a day and a half. Oh, there’s nobody better than H. R. McMaster. He’s Harvard, he’s Oxford, he’s Cambridge,” and on and on and on.
In all this Bannon stuff, in all this palace intrigue, we never see stories involving him or Gary Cohn or Dina Powell. And now we have a story, “New Front in White House Civil War As Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC.” Up to now, Kushner trying to ace Bannon out, that’s been a good thing. Kushner may be young, 36, may not have any experience, but at least he’s not Bannon and at least he’s Trump’s son-in-law so he’s not going anywhere.
But now, now out of the blue the long knives are out for the president’s son-in-law because it’s not Bannon trying to take something over; it’s Kushner. So somebody’s feeling threatened, or somebody is not feeling threatened and is striking preemptively. Somebody in there doesn’t like Jared, folks. And that’s the first time you’ve heard this, other than Bannon, I mean, supposedly.
What if you were to learn — I’m gonna withhold the speculation. I’m afraid I might be right, and that would get me a little bit more attention than I want right now, so I’ll reserve that.