“The Book That Has Shaken the White House”, an article by Dr. Leonel FernándezJanuary 26, 2018
BANNON, FOR THOSE WHO KNOW HIM, IS AN EDUCATED AND INTELLIGENT MAN, AS WELL AS DOGMATIC, ARROGANT AND EVEN ANTISOCIAL
Until the time when J.K. Rowling, the renowned British writer, published a series of science fiction novels about the life of Harry Potter, the young apprentice of magic and sorcery, nothing like this had happened in the publishing world.
It sufficed that on January 3, New York magazine published an excerpt from the book
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by renowned American journalist Michael Wolff, to immediately turn it into the bestseller of the moment due to the number of purchase requests received.
The mere announcement of its publication so irritated the White House that the administration’s official spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, quickly discredited it as a “trashy tabloid fiction;” and Charles Harder, President
Donald Trump’s attorney, sent a letter to the author and to the publisher, instructing them to stop its publication, under the threat of an ensuing defamation and slander lawsuit.
The reaction, however, was the opposite of what was expected. Instead of accepting the demand to discontinue the publication, the publishing house advanced the date of the book release. In less than 48 hours it had already sold a million copies.
According to the
author, his aim in writing the book was, first of all, to emphasize that “with the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, the United States entered the eye of the most extraordinary political storm since Watergate;” second, to expose the internal conflicts or power struggles taking place among the White House senior officials; and third, to speak of the belittling expressions of Steve Bannon, who was the Chief Strategist of the US government, regarding the
President’s family members.
They Did Not Expect To Win
The first thing that Michael Wolff, who is also a prominent columnist at Vanity Fair and The Hollywood Reporter magazines, as well as the author of several books, begins exposing in his controversial book is that no one in the electoral campaign team of the Republican Party candidate expected to win the election.
According to the comments that have been
gathered, not even Donald Trump himself believed that and electoral victory could be achieved. In view of this, for the real estate mogul, the most important thing at the time was “to be the most famous man in the world.” Thus, he would come out of the electoral process with his brand strengthened and with countless new business opportunities.
As proof that success was not possible, there were permanent complaints, even by the candidate himself, with
regard to the performance of his electoral campaign team. For Donald Trump, all its members were just a handful of incompetents. Nobody was of any use.
In fact, just five months before the election, in June, 2016, he fired his first Campaign Manager, Corey Lawandowski, whom he described as dumb and incompetent.
Then came Paul Manafort, currently under judicial investigation, who stayed only two months as head of the presidential campaign, until August,
when less than 90 days remained for citizens to go to the polling places.
At that point in the electoral race, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party candidate, had an advantage of between 12 and 17 points above the Republican candidate.
It was believed then that only a miracle could reverse that trend.
It was at that moment of gloom that before candidate Donald Trump came Robert Mercer, a right-wing billionaire, and his daughter,
Rebekah, who decided, together with other multi-millionaire partners, to finance and take over the rest of Trump’s campaign.
The first reaction of the Republican candidate, according to Michael Wolff, was astonishment. He could not understand how someone could commit his resources in favor of a cause that was completely lost.
However, the only condition stipulated by Robert Mercer and his daughter, and accepted by Donald Trump, was that two
key figures in their financial empire, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, joined the campaign management.
When Conway started her tenure directing the campaign, she did not anticipate any prospects for success. On the contrary, she was convinced that Donald Trump would lose the election.
Not so Steve Bannon who came from the management area of Breitbart News, the far right digital publication. He was of the opinion that, despite the difficulties and the
lack of organization that the campaign had experienced, Trump would be successful in his electoral quest.
The dramatic revelations about Trump’s inappropriate treatment of women seemed to have permanently buried the electoral aspirations of the successful construction entrepreneur.
However, Trump managed to survive; and casually the campaign began to make a radical turn in his favor when the Director of the FBI, James Comey, informed about the
reopening of the email investigation against the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Even on the same day of the election, November 8, when the vote counting started, there was no winning mood among the supporters of the Republican candidate.
The victory was so unexpected that it is said that Donald Trump Jr. told a friend that his father, Donald Trump, was so surprised by his success that he seemed “as if he had seen a
Conflicts and Intrigues
Steve Bannon spoke with such certainty about Trump’s certain victory at the polls that the latter came to consider that perhaps his campaign promoter had mystical powers, which made him virtually indispensable for the new administration.
But this was not the case. Not only did Bannon not have mystical powers, but he also lacked political experience. He had never run an
election campaign nor had he held any public office. The only thing he was offering was an apocalyptic vision based on the conviction that American society was divided into two irreconcilable sectors: the liberal globalists and the conservative populist nationalists.
The problem, according to the testimonies collected by Michael Wolff in his book, is that the selection of Steve Bannon as Head of Strategy and as Presidential Adviser was, perhaps, the worst that Donald
Trump could have made.
Bannon, for those who have known him in his many facets, although he is an educated and intelligent man he is also dogmatic, arrogant and even antisocial.
His fanatic and explosive attitude reached such levels that he is considered as a kind of human grenade; and it is said that if there is a fire somewhere, it is most likely that the matches will be found in his hands.
With such an amazing personality in a post that
commands such authority, it was logical to assume that President Donald Trump’s administration would encounter serious internal conflicts.
At the same time, according to Wolff, there was a lot of doubt among the White House staff about the effective operation of the administration. To cheer themselves up, they said to each other: “We will make it happen.” “This is going to work.”
The reason for this
concern was that, since the days immediately after the electoral victory, a potential Russian interference in the election results had been weaving.
In addition, there was the generalized perception that had been created around the personality of the new President. He was seen as emotional and impulsive. He did not have a reading habit. His concentration level was low; and he did not listen or pay attention.
In the midst of this vacuum, Steve Bannon
tried to take over and put into effect the presidential agenda, which created, from the beginning, serious difficulties with the Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, who had been appointed to that role, to serve as liaison with the Congressional Republican leaders.
Moreover, Bannon came into conflict with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and daughter, which, of course, given the family relationship, had another
In order to resolve these conflicts, each party sought to overthrow the other by leaking information to the media that it believed could harm the other.
The Fall of the Chief of Staff
As a result of these struggles, the Chief of Staff was dismissed. The administration’s Press Secretary resigned. A new Director of Communications lasted only a week in his position; and the White House plunged, as never
before, into chaos and turmoil.
To weaken his internal rivals and to keep pushing his agenda of division and confrontation, Steve Bannon continued his campaign to secretly provide information to the media.
But he was so stubborn in his intent and so sinister in his plans that he went beyond the limits of caution and loyalty. And, for that reason, inevitably, he was dismissed in August of last year, from the administration’s post to which he
had been appointed.
Nowadays, without official duties, new statements of his appear in Michael Wolff’s book. These statements, true or false, are so chilling and compromising that they have shaken the White House.