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White House officials feared possible Bannon attack

The war that erupted ...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 10:40 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 10:40 AM

The war that erupted between the White House and Steve Bannon Wednesday is one many people inside the West Wing feared would happen after the former chief strategist was pushed out of the administration several months ago.

While it is unusual for a former White House official like Bannon to trash a fellow top aide on the record -- in this case, Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law -- the comments are a continuation of a long-running feud between the two men.

It is unusual for a former White House official like Bannon to trash a fellow top aide

But many people inside the West Wing feared it would happen

After Bannon spent the last several weeks lobbing criticism at President Donald Trump's inner circle and questioning the way the White House operates, tensions boiled over Wednesday after Bannon was quoted calling a meeting between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer "treasonous" and "unpatriotic" in excerpts from Michael Wolff's forthcoming book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."

Trump unleashed on Bannon in an lengthy statement where he dismissed Bannon's political influence and questioned his mental stability, and although the President is known for maintaining contact with people he has fired, he spent Wednesday privately telling people he was done with Bannon.

After Bannon left the administration in August and returned to his perch at Breitbart News, the question was whether he would remain an ally of the President's or become a thorn in the administration's side.

But on Wednesday, in the White House's eyes, Bannon became more than just a nuisance. A source close to the West Wing says he crossed a clear line when he went after the President's family, noting that Bannon went from being an occasional annoyance to an adversary.

"Once Bannon got personal, the gloves were off," the source said. "They are holding nothing back."

During his time at the White House, Bannon spearheaded a nationalist faction of aides within the West Wing, often clashing with a more global-minded group that included Ivanka Trump, Kushner and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn. Those early months of the Trump administration were rife with drama from those competing power centers.

Anecdotes quickly emerged of Ivanka pleading with her father to moderate his positions -- or at least his tone -- often, with little success. It took a while to determine those leaks weren't entirely the result of her Manhattan friends casting her in the role of their liberal savior, but rather her newfound White House colleagues looking to undermine her influence, according to administration officials.

The leaks targeting Ivanka Trump appeared to slow once Bannon departed the administration in August. Meanwhile, Trump and Kushner benefited from the structure under chief of staff John Kelly, who has helped West Wing staff to define their roles more clearly.

Bannon took aim at Ivanka publicly as recently as last month. Speaking at an election eve rally for Roy Moore, he appeared to mock her statement on Moore, criticizing members of his party who spoke out against the Senate candidate: "There's a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better."

And Bannon hasn't limited his criticism to the Washington-based members of the Trump family.

"They're going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV," he told Wolff about the President's eldest son, according to excerpts obtained by The Guardian.

The President's statement appeared to acknowledge that Bannon's leaks struck a nerve.

"Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well," Trump said.

For their part, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who spent the holidays with the President in Palm Beach, have kept their heads down, back at work in the West Wing and, through a spokesperson, declining to comment publicly on the unfolding scene.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
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Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
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Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
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Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
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Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
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Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
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Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
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