Trump on Bannon: 'Alt-Left' Strategist Gets a 'Bad Rap'

Bannon's actually a 'very decent guy,' president insists to Bloomberg
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2017 10:11 AM CDT
Trump on Bannon: 'Very Decent Guy' Who's Sticking Around
Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, tours the AMES Companies with the president in Harrisburg, Pa., on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Just a few weeks ago, Steve Bannon was deemed a "marked man," but President Trump has a different take on him, per a Monday interview with Bloomberg. His chief strategist is a "very decent guy" who's gotten a "bad rap," Trump noted, adding that any conflict between Bannon and other bigwigs in his administration has died down. That infighting—which the president described as "testy" times to which he demanded a detente—was rumored to mainly be between Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, whom Trump calls a "very brilliant young guy." "It's coming out better now than it was, you know, for a while," Trump noted, adding that Bannon and a slew of other headline-generating staff members (including chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, and counselor Kellyanne Conway) would likely still be in their roles months from now.

Bannon's influence on the president appears to be still ever-present: The Daily Beast notes that Trump's comments Monday on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War were "all Steve Bannon," explaining that Bannon has been the impetus behind Trump's "love affair with the ghost of President Jackson," with Bannon reportedly trying to tie the two presidents together via the populist philosophies he sees both espousing. Trump also bestowed an interesting label upon Bannon in his Bloomberg chat: "alt-left," reversing the "alt-right" classification Bannon often receives. "Bannon's more of a libertarian than anything else, if you want to know the truth," Trump said, though the Daily Beast notes libertarians "widely loathe" Bannon, who identifies himself as an anti-globalist "nationalist." (Trump also offered his take to Bloomberg on Kim Jong Un, whom he says he'd be "honored" to meet.)

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