Charlottesville Shifted the Timing of Steve Bannon’s Exit

Monday, August 21, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 10.41.51 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • What was supposed to be an amicable departure for the White House’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, became a messy exit after public furor over the president’s response to a race-fueled melee in Charlottesville, Va.

  • It was a week of turmoil, but it seemed to prove an immutable rule of the Trump presidency: People see what they want to see, even if others see something very different.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, under fire from Yale classmates and Jewish critics of Mr. Trump, strongly defended the president’s equivocating response to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, in a written statement this weekend.
  • Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday that he wanted “to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
  • Mr. Trump has settled on a new strategy to carry on the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, administration officials said. The move is likely to open the door to the deployment of several thousand troops.
  • Ten Navy sailors were missing and five were injured after a United States destroyer collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, the Navy said.
— The First Draft Team
News Analysis

Will Bannon’s White House Agenda Survive Without Him?


Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, in the West Wing on June 1.
Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, in the West Wing on June 1. Al Drago for The New York Times
WASHINGTON — In his West Wing office, Stephen K. Bannon kept a chart listing trade actions — on China, steel and autos — that the Trump White House planned to roll out, week by week, through the fall. Now that Mr. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has been pushed out, the question is whether his agenda will be erased along with him.
It is not just trade: Mr. Bannon has had a strong voice on issues from climate change and China to immigration and the war in Afghanistan. He has been an unyielding advocate for a visceral brand of nationalism, and though he lost as often as he won in policy debates, his departure could tip the balance on some fiercely contested issues toward a more mainstream approach, even if the core tenets of his philosophy survive.
Mr. Bannon’s dorm-like office functioned as a sort of command center for the administration’s nationalist wing. He met there with a coterie of mostly young, like-minded colleagues, planning strategy and plotting against foes, such as Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council.
Some of Mr. Bannon’s protégés have already been sidelined while others may depart soon, people in the White House said. He will no longer have access to briefing papers or sit in meetings, like a regular Tuesday morning session in the Roosevelt Room where he sparred with Mr. Cohn and other officials over the timing of trade moves against China.
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An Air Force Rockwell B-1B Lancer, left, and a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker on the tarmac at Andersen Air Force base in Yigo, Guam, this month. The North Koreans have delayed a threatened set of tests that they said would put four missiles into the waters off Guam.

Talk of ‘Preventive War’ Rises in White House Over North Korea


In a departure from their predecessors, some in the Trump administration have surmised that Cold War-style containment will not work and that a military option is available.

Thousands Protest Against White Supremacy


Demonstrators poured into the nation’s streets and parks over the weekend to denounce white supremacy and Nazism, one week after clashes between far-right demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., turned deadly.

President Trump plans a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday. Some aides worry that a possible pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, could deepen the racial wounds.

White House Bracing for an Angry Reception in Phoenix


Rumors of a pardon for a former sheriff, Joe Arpaio, could deepen racial wounds exposed by the president’s comments on Charlottesville, Va.

Bobbleheads of President Trump and other political figures at White House Gifts in Washington.The most popular Trump-related item has been the red cap emblazoned with his “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The Red Cap Aside, Trump Souvenirs Are a Hard Sell


The president’s brand is no winner in Washington gift shops. But first ladies do better anyway. “They don’t make public policy, and they’re easier to like.”

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Ben Shapiro in The Daily Wire:
“Everyone is trying to use the issue of Confederate monument removal as a club to wield against political opposition, and as a broadening mechanism for their own movements.”
For Mr. Shapiro, the issue at hand has nothing to do with Confederate monuments. The reason we’re really “talking about statues,” he writes, is that they serve as a proxy argument for larger, political fights. The “truth” is that “Confederate statue removal is a local issue, not a national one.” Read more »
From the Left
• Tyler Zimmer in Jacobin:
“The Confederate flag lionizes both racists and class traitors — indeed the two are inseparable.”
According to Mr. Zimmer, the symbols of the Confederacy are not just about white supremacy, but also, inextricably, about class. Confederate flags and monuments, he writes, signify a “campaign by elites to hoodwink poor whites into throwing their lives away to protect ruling class wealth and privilege.” Read more »
More selections »