Trump Should Fear Damage Bannon Can Do In White House

In Bannon-McMaster tiff, McMaster isn't the real problem, 'WSJ' editors warn
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2017 5:50 PM CDT
Bannon Is the One Causing White House 'Dysfunction'
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon steps off Air Force One as he arrives April 9, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

New White House chief of staff John Kelly certainly has his fair share of challenges ahead of him—and one of them might be mitigating a coordinated alt-right attack against President Trump's national security adviser. The Wall Street Journal editorial board weighs in on what appears to be a faceoff between HR McMaster, a well-regarded Army general who took over for Michael Flynn, and Trump aide Steve Bannon, whose policy preferences are in stark contrast to McMaster's. The national security adviser wants a more fleshed-out strategy in Afghanistan (including with more troops), is wary of any overtures from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and advises caution on haphazardly turning away from the Iran nuclear deal.

All of which has apparently incited the ire of Bannon's allies outside of the White House, including those in the ultra-conservative media such as Breitbart, which Bannon used to oversee. The Journal acknowledges that Trump has publicly stood by McMaster, but adds that McMaster maybe isn't the one the president should be turning a critical eye toward. Bannon "has been a White House survivor, but his warring habits have also been responsible for much of the White House dysfunction," the editors write. They note that Trump may fear the repercussions of getting rid of Bannon, "but if his minions continue to vilify [Bannon's] colleagues inside the White House, how can anyone tell the difference?" Editorial appears here. (Read more opinion stories.)

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