Fox News and Wall Street Journal boss Rupert Murdoch has reportedly “repeatedly urged” President Donald Trump to kick White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to the curb.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported on Monday that Murdoch’s latest demand to get rid of Bannon came at a recent dinner with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner before Trump headed off to Bedminster, New Jersey. Kushner, who has tried multiple times to shiv Bannon and remove him from the White House, “has been in open warfare” with Bannon since the spring, according to Haberman, and has clearly sided with his fellow Democrats and globalists in the West Wing and outside the White House.
As the Times noted, Bannon “embodies the defiant populism at the core of” Trump’s agenda, and Trump forged a “foxhole friendship” with Bannon during the 2016 campaign when Bannon stood by Trump when nearly everyone else ran as far away from Trump as possible, especially after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes.
Bannon’s nationalism may be why Murdoch has been urging Trump to dump Bannon in private and using his media properties like the Wall Street Journal to criticize him. Murdoch and his Journal, as Breitbart News noted, just last week used national security adviser H.R. McMaster as their “latest weapon in their continuing battle against Trump’s America-first agenda and movement that enabled Trump to shock the world on election night.”
Murdoch has always been at odds with Bannon on key issues like illegal immigration and increases in foreign guest-worker visas.
As Breitbart News has pointed out, Murdoch’s Journal rooted for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to win the GOP nomination while not backing down from his “act of love” remarks about illegal immigrants and support for open borders. Murdoch’s Journal cheered for Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John McCain’s (R-AZ) Gang of Eight “amnesty bill,” preventing conservative icons like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin from even presenting counterarguments on the air in what Limbaugh said was “quite telling” about the direction Fox News was going.
In March, Murdoch’s Journal also said Bannon’s support for economic nationalism and border security were unacceptable positions that caused “polarization” even though, as Breitbart News noted, “those issues united working-class Democrats and Republicans in the Rust Belt to deliver Trump his election-night win.” In addition, as Breitbart News pointed out, “the day after Murdoch reportedly requested to sit next [former President Barack Obama’s confidante and top adviser Valerie] Jarrett at a dinner in 2014, he penned an op-ed in his Wall Street Journal in which Murdoch declared that amnesty for illegal immigrants and an unlimited number of high-tech guest-worker visas for Silicon Valley just ‘can’t wait.’”
Murdoch, though, as Joshua Green noted in his book Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency, initially mocked Trump and his movement. He thought the idea of Trump presidency was so absurd that he dissed Trump and his daughter Ivanka right to their faces at a lunch:
Soon after the three of them were seated and the waiter brought their soup, Ivanka spoke up: “My father has something to tell you.”
“What’s that?” Murdoch said.
“He’s going to run for president.”
“He’s not running for president,” Murdoch replied without looking up from his soup.
“No, he is!” she insisted.
Murdoch changed the subject.
Trump nursed the slight for months. “He didn’t even look up from his soup!” he’d complain.
Murdoch now apparently sees an opportunity to align with Democrat Kushner and the White House’s Democrats and globalists and take over the White House in a way he could not do with Bush or Rubio.
Haberman reports that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has said conservatives would be “crushed” if Trump dumped Bannon while Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the House Freedom Caucus chair, is worried that removing Bannon from the White House may embolden the Democrats and globalists to push Trump away from his voters.
Here’s the bottom line, though. Nobody is bigger than Trump. Certainly not Bannon.
But, as Trump himself has admitted numerous times, his movement is bigger than Trump. And getting rid of Bannon would be the strongest signal to his voters that Trump has sold them out, proving that Rubio was right when he mocked Trump as a con man during the 2016 campaign.
In West Virginia last month, Trump said his enemies were using the Russia scandals to take his historic election away from his movement.
“They can’t beat us at the voting booths so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you won,” Trump said. “They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership you won, with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us.”
Murdoch, along with his globalist White House allies like Gary Cohn, is trying to “cheat” Trump’s movement and voters like Trump’s Deep State and media enemies are trying to do with the Russia “scandals.”
And if Trump allows the Democrats and globalists to steal the White House from his movement by ousting Bannon, he will no longer have the moral high ground to complain about Russia because he will have effectively flipped double middle fingers to his voters and movement by siding with his movement’s opponents who have mocked and loathed Trump and his voters from the beginning.
In politics, as in life, it’s important to dance with the one that brung ya.