January 4, 2018

"Amid the firestorm over Michael Wolff's forthcoming book 'Fire and Fury,' a lawyer for President Trump says legal action against Steve Bannon is 'imminent'..."

"... accusing the former White House aide of breaking a confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement he had signed with the Trump campaign," Axios reports.

Axios has "key excerpts" from Wolff's book show why Trump is "so livid." I expected these to be more surprising or disturbing, but it's the same kind of reporting on Trump that we've seen for the past year — disarray, in-fighting, short attention span. Seems like the main thing here is that Bannon was and is entirely disloyal to Trump.

Are Trump haters going to be Bannon fans now? From Axios:
[W]ithout Trump, Bannon would still be a colorful but little-known media executive and radio gadfly....

Despite knowing his trashing of President Trump was coming in Wolff's bombshell of a book, Bannon had continued talking to the president, and had even been telling friends he wanted to run Trump's reelection in 2020.

Bannon has described himself to friends as a "revolutionary" and not in an ironic way. He genuinely views himself as a transformational figure of history, who belongs in the history books. A source who knows Bannon well — and is mostly sympathetic to him — told us he thinks Bannon is even more narcissistic than Trump.

And... Bannon has also told friends he'd run for president in 2020 if Trump does not, knowing the same book would include his on-the-record argument that Mueller could topple Trump.
If so, then Bannon serves his own ambition when he offers up material with which to take down Trump. That should be a reason to mistrust him, but if you hate Trump and want him destroyed, you welcome Bannon, the man you once loathed. Should liberals allow their anti-Trump passion to speed Bannon along? Maybe they think that Bannon is so ugly and ridiculous and obviously evil that he could never get very far if he decides to run for President, but it's that kind of thinking that let Trump get so much traction that he could not be stopped.

60 comments:

rhhardin said...

Bannon doesn't have a sense of humor.

Earnestness needs that tempering.

David Begley said...

Althouse wrote, “but if you hate Trump and want him destroyed, you welcome Bannon, the man you once loathed....”

News! Bannon and Maddow to announce engagement.

Morning Joe in complete frenzy. Impeachment imminent. Trump unfit for office. Mentally unstable. Senator Mitt Romney to vote to convict.

Kevin said...

Bannon had a button but Trump has a bigger button.

MadisonMan said...

Will the book sell better than 'What Happened'. What kind of Virtue Signaling are you employing if you read it non-Ebook-style?

Kevin said...

“but if you hate Trump and want him destroyed, you welcome Bannon, the man you once loathed....”

If what you wanted was Trump out, yes.

But if you want singular power which only comes from vanishing all who don't completely agree with you in a ball of righteous fire, then no.

I'm betting it's no.

dreams said...

Democrats are one just one of the problems we have in our country, another problem we have is a lot of Republicans aren't any different than the crooked Dems.

Bay Area Guy said...

I like Bannon. But it's not wise to attempt regicide with a rubber knife.

dreams said...

Regardless, why bet against Trump who seems to always win. I'm sticking with the winner, you losers can align yourself with a fellow loser. Yeah, be consistent and go with the loser, losers.

dreams said...

Liberal losers!

Mac McConnell said...

Has there ever been a book Michael Wolff wrote that critics haven't said he makes shit up?

This is much ado about nothing, especially if one considers what President trump has accomplished in his first year. A stupid President doesn't do that, nor will this slow him down.

dreams said...

I'm seeing a trend, the trend can be your friend. Losers.

David Begley said...

Open talk of dementia.

Morning Joe this AM reminds me of the scene from “Unbroken” where the sharks circle the life raft.

If a Gary Cohen or John Kelly resigns, then the Trump presidency is finished. Still mortally wounded. Policy initiatives hamstrung. Guilt by association with a “lunatic” who is “demented” and “doesn’t read.” This is very, very bad.

David Begley said...

Gary Cohen is loved by the Street and in NYC. He needs to do a press conference or something else bold to support Trump.

Watching the smirking blowhard Joe Scarborough proclaiming his victory today is sickening.

chuck said...

Bannon probably thought he was going to be the hidden president behind the President. Didn't work out that way.

dreams said...

Bannon isn't and surely won't be the last person to experience the realization that he just isn't as smart as he thought he was and definitely not as smart as Trump.

David Begley said...

At least the tax cuts are law. Everything else is now in jeopardy. If Don Jr. gets indicted, Trump might as well resign. Trump would be completely neutered then.

Bill Kristol to run in 2020.

james james said...

It happens in politics, it happens in families, it happens in the workplace, so -- of course -- it happens at the bar: people who were once close turn on each other. And, like in all of those places, it makes the people close to them uncomfortable. Uncomfortable with easy access to an alcoholic beverage, yes, but still: uncomfortable.

Sometimes it is politics, sometimes a sense of betrayal. Sometimes a principle, sometimes unrequited love. Some causes seem rational, some seem silly, but that doesn't really matter. If the people involved are taking it that seriously, then the needle is in the red. And the needle stays in the red, because no mechanic wants to take on that shit.

A lot of people think that, somehow, the bartender can fix these things. Because bartenders are Magic. They turn your money into alcohol, which is always a good trick. But unless one of the Red Needle People is a lousy customer, then there is not much he or she can do: the bartender is paid to serve customers, not to be a psychiatrist, judge and referee. Or, for that matter, a real Magician, one who can pull a rabbit out of his hat. And then pull the solution out of the ass of that rabbit.

Usually the people in conflict will move to separate ends of the bar. Which calms things, somewhat. Except now, if you are to talk with one of the people, you are symbolically taking sides, because you are now literally at one side of the bar.

So maybe you make a point later to walk over to the other side of the bar, talk with the person there. But this gets old, fast: making a Statement can be wearing on you, but trying to make a Statement about Not Making A Statement: well, fuck that. So you sit at the middle of the bar with everyone else, or at a table that is neutral, like Switzerland.

Sometimes the Red Needle People get over it, or at least let it fade: some feuds are just too embarrassing to last. But sometimes the most embarrassing ones are the ones that people will never let go of: to let go would be to acknowledge the embarrassment of clinging to an embarrassing position like it Somehow Even Fucking Mattered.

Of course, one of the people might just stop coming to the bar: they will live in Exile. Or at least go to the bar there. The Elba would make a good name for that bar. Then they all can talk about their side of the story that brought them there. Until one of them remarks that another person's reason is actually pretty silly, when you think about it. Uh oh. This is the point where someone should go to the jukebox and play Journey: The Wheel In The Sky Keeps On Turning. Maybe that'd work.

Because playing Journey in a bar should at least solve some things.

How about a joke?

Rodney King walks into a bar.

As Rodney approaches, the bartender asks him what'll it be.

"Can we all just get along?" Rodney King says.

The bartender replies: "I don't know how to make that one."

- james james

Hagar said...

I think I am with the "names, places, and dates or it did not happen" crowd.

There will be a hunt on from all sides for the origins of the quoted material.

Michael K said...

I was at a Bannon speech a month ago. I heard nothing like this stuff. Bannon was totally on board with Trump.

I wonder what is going on ?

Bannon is smarter than this.

Hagar said...

Is there something in the water in D.C.?

Ray said...

Bannon seems to love to leak / talk.

He should have stuck to Breitbart. The treason talk was over the line.

And the challenge when talking to liberal reporters / authors is you May say something inadvertently that will be used against you. Or slanted, taken out of context etc.

Breitbart just lost its financial support from Mercer.

Bannon needs to do something or Breitbart is dead. Shame, it had a lot of promise.

BillyTalley said...

1) Now that Bannon’s ego slipped the chain, he makes Trump look even-keeled.
2) My recent alternatives to an MSM soiled by the fake news phenomenon: Youtubers Quite Frankly and Tracy Beanz.

Brett said...

When did anyone ever think Trump was "obviously evil" until he had the nerve to run as a Republican, rather than the Democrat he was assumed to be?

He only became "obviously evil" because, in the Manichean world of the left, there's only them, and EVIL. And to not be with them is to be the latter.

pacwest said...

The quotes out of the book, especially the ones painting Trump as a demented idiot will dominate the news cycle for a short while and then serve as established fact for later attempts to tear him down. Same old same old. The coming Bannon war will do far more to hurt Trump. Even if Bannon can pull a mere 5% of the Trump base away it could prove fatal.

The image of a pack of hyenas, or maybe rabid dogs would be more apt, comes to mind. Buwaya's reminder that there are millions if Ingas out there is very on the mark.

While I support President Trump, my main concern in all this is that the underlying corruption of Clinton/Obama will not get rooted out. That failure will prove fatal to the Republic in the end.

chuck said...

> He should have stuck to Breitbart.

Why did he even speak with Wolff? That wasn't smart. He needs to apply the generalized Pence rules when around the media.

Chuck said...

"Just locker room talk."

Admittedly, the locker room in question might be the Ravens', circa Ray Lewis. But hey, it's still a locker room.

Althouse asks: Are Trump haters going to be Bannon fans now?
Answer: I seriously doubt it.

Chuck said...

Remember this?
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/863007411132649473?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fhomenews%2Fadministration%2F333081-trump-warns-comey-better-hope-there-are-no-tapes-of-our-meeting


There's this:
https://www.axios.com/how-michael-wolff-did-it-2522360813.html
(Mike Allen, reporting that Wolff has hours of audio tapes of many of his interviews.)

David Begley said...

The happiest man in America today is Howard Schultz. The nice, respectable CEO who successfully ran a public company without scandal and who speaks in measured tones. I also understand that he can read. Bonus: From New York.

Freder Frederson said...

That should be a reason to mistrust him, but if you hate Trump and want him destroyed, you welcome Bannon, the man you once loathed.

How simple minded. I still loath Bannon. In fact I think even less of him now (although I am not sure that is possible) for his complete lack of loyalty.

Chuck said...

I just wanted to mention that "Fire and Fury" is the #1 book at Amazon.com, and you can get your copy by using the Althouse Portal, which is at the upper-right corner of the Althouse home page.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/03/media/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-interviews/index.html

Tim at large said...

I have a short attention span too. I would sit in math class in high school, listen for the first five minutes, then drift off into dreamland for the rest of the class while teach tried to pound the material into the thick heads around me, then I would not do the homework, and then I would ace the tests. I was a lazy short attention span SOB. Got a little harder in college, but not a lot harder. Probably because the fact that I got all zeros on my homework for four years of high school kind of kept me out of the better schools.

Turns out that in the real world, unnecessary work isn’t as important as results. Thanks God. So when I see “short attention span” applied to a successful person, it makes me wonder about the guy throwing around the term.

Michael K said...

The Trump lawyers may be making a mistake to sue Bannon for breaking a non-disclose contract as that suggests that the Bannon quotes are true.

This may be a time for Trump to ignore the insults and keep working.

Tim at large said...

Ii think that “short attention span” is another way of saying “refused to buy what I was so carefully selling.”

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
The Trump lawyers may be making a mistake to sue Bannon for breaking a non-disclose contract as that suggests that the Bannon quotes are true.

This may be a time for Trump to ignore the insults and keep working.

Respectfully, if I had a dollar for every time that Trump's personal attorneys sent out cease-and-desist letters, or otherwise threatened litigation, I would not have to work anymore.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The country seems to be doing pretty well considering it’s being run by a nutcase. Economy growing, stock market up, excellent judicial picks, more money in our paychecks – if 2018 is as successful as 2017, Americans won’t mind if Trump announces that he is appointing a horse to the US Senate to keep company with all the horses’ patoots who are already there.

bflat879 said...

When they're out to get a man, they will stop at nothing. However, whatever went on, in the first months of the Trump Administration, has gone on in every administration. There's a learning curve and it actually took the insertion of General Kelly to bring that curve to fruition. Given that Donald Trump has actually run something in his life, I can't even begin to imagine what a book about Obama's learning curve would look like.

Ken B said...

Priceless. Chuck puts up a post saying Trump haters won't embrace Bannon. Then two posts pushing Brannon.

Inga said...

“How simple minded. I still loath Bannon. In fact I think even less of him now (although I am not sure that is possible) for his complete lack of loyalty.”

Precisely. I heard this canard several times yesterday. It’s an attempt to discredit anyone who believes Bannon, while despising him and his ilk, which includes Trump. He’s as slimy as Trump. No one on the left will now magically embrace Bannon, what a foolish notion.

Inga said...

It’s not Bannon’s book BTW. Michael Wolff wrote the book.

exiledonmainstreet said...

BillyTalley said...
Now that Bannon’s ego slipped the chain, he makes Trump look even-keeled."


As I said last night, after Bannon got canned from the WH, he decided to play kingmaker. That did not work out very well in Alabama, and Trump undoubtedly told Bannon in no uncertain terms to cut that shit out. Bannon looks like a slob, but he is a very, very rich man – richer than Trump – and did not take well to being dressed down by Trump. Bannon considers himself the reason why Trump is in the WH. His wounded ego caused him to lash out, nevermind the damage it would do to the cause Bannon claims to champion. He’s a petty and selfish man – and this move shows he’s not as smart as he believes himself to be either.

Inga said...

“Bannon looks like a slob, but he is a very, very rich man – richer than Trump – and did not take well to being dressed down by Trump.”

Steve Bannon is richer than Trump?

“STEVE BANNON

Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, disclosed assets between $13 million and $56 million, including his influential political consultancy, Bannon Strategic Advisors Inc., worth as much as $25 million. Bannon also disclosed that he earned slightly less than $200,000 last year as executive director of Breitbart News Network LLC, before he resigned to join Trump’s campaign last August.”

http://fortune.com/2017/04/03/donald-trump-staff-net-worth/

Trump is supposedly worth 3.1 Billion.

Chuck said...

Ken B said...
Priceless. Chuck puts up a post saying Trump haters won't embrace Bannon. Then two posts pushing Brannon.

?

What two posts? "[P]ushing Bannon"?

Ray said...

Supposedly Wolff was allowed access to the Whitehouse, did over 200 interviews, and has audio tapes per Pj Media.

And it seems that Wolff has access to the Whitehouse because of Bannon.

Q Sarah, can you clarify? Because many of us here have seen Michael Wolff at the White House on multiple occasions. We’ve seen him firsthand. So we know he was here. Who gave him access to the White House? What was he here for? Can you explain any of that since we don’t have access to the logs?

MS. SANDERS: Yeah. So far, from what I can tell of the roughly just over a dozen interactions that he had with officials at the White House, I think close to 95 percent were all done so at the request of Mr. Bannon.

References:
https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/thursdays-hot-mic-39/
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/01032017/

Kevin said...

MS. SANDERS: Yeah. So far, from what I can tell of the roughly just over a dozen interactions that he had with officials at the White House, I think close to 95 percent were all done so at the request of Mr. Bannon.

OMG, that's exactly the kind of undefined innuendo which could bring Chuck and Inga to simultaneous orgasm!

Wait until they find out just over a dozen means:

9 with Bannon himself.
3 with the Mooch in the week he was there.
1 with Sean Spicer, mostly about how he was portrayed by Melissa McCarthy.

Martin said...

My main takeaway from all this is that either--

(a) Trump is not as good a judge of talent and character as I thought, let alone what he claims, or

(b) the mainline GOP boycott of him in the primaries forced him to accept whatever help he could get, hence the third and fourth raters like Manafort, Papadopolous (7th-rater) and the guy who brought him on (Clovis, a talk-radio guy from Iowa who was in charge of the administrative end of the campaign for a while), Bannon...

or, both.

Michael K said...

The plot thickens. What was Bannon doing ?

Michael K said...

the mainline GOP boycott of him in the primaries forced him to accept whatever help he could get

I think that is a lot of it.

The Lewandowski book says that the White House was largely staffed with the RNC people like Spicer and others who had not been Trump supporters.

Bannon was different and was only involved after Manafort became an obvious liability. I might have to go back and reread that section. I recall that Bannon was not that enthusiastic about coming in.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"(b) the mainline GOP boycott of him in the primaries forced him to accept whatever help he could get, hence the third and fourth raters like Manafort, Papadopolous (7th-rater) and the guy who brought him on (Clovis, a talk-radio guy from Iowa who was in charge of the administrative end of the campaign for a while), Bannon..."

So Trump still managed to win despite all those third and fourth raters...

He must have had a message that really struck a chord among middle and blue collar voters. Or Hillary was just that awful.

Nope. It can't be that! Russia!

Steve said...

Maybe Bannon will go for the Democrat nomination in 2020!

Inga said...

A cease-and-desist letter was also sent to Michael Wolff’s publisher, telling him to stop publication and distribution. Isn’t this censorship by a sitting president to an American citizen? What of the First Amendment?

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Inga Since you clearly have no idea what the First Amendment says, or deals with, here it is verbatim :"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The operational phrase is "Congress shall make no law...." Jesus!

Khesanh 0802 said...

Just looking at Bannon now and pictures of him when he was at Business School I would have to say that he has become a dissolute old man and that his time in the sun is gone no matter how hard he tries to revive it.

Francisco D said...

"A cease-and-desist letter was also sent to Michael Wolff’s publisher, telling him to stop publication and distribution. Isn’t this censorship by a sitting president to an American citizen? What of the First Amendment?"

Inga, are you really that stupid?

Michael said...

Francisco D

Yes. Why yes, she is.

Inga said...

As a response the the cease and desist letter the publishers have pushed up the publication date to tomorrow, lol!

“President Donald Trump’s lawyers are expanding their crusade against a new book that gives a behind-the-scenes account of the White House.

In a letter sent Thursday to “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff and his publisher, Trump attorney Charles Harder demanded that the book, which reached No. 1 on the Amazon best-seller list Wednesday, not be published or disseminated. A copy of the letter obtained by NBC News cites defamation, libel and “actual malice” among the alleged wrongdoings in the book, which is due to be released on Tuesday.

As a legal matter, it’s difficult to imagine the book’s publisher and author backing down in the face of this threat. As a practical matter, I’m not sure it matters: the book has already reached quite a few major news organizations, which have highlighted excerpts for the public.”

Kevin said...

Isn’t this censorship by a sitting president to an American citizen? What of the First Amendment?

Obstruction of the Press! They've surely got him now...

Kevin said...

Inga, are you really that stupid?

Are you kidding? Just last night she was lecturing a retired law professor about how Manafort doesn't have standing to sue the Special Prosecutor.

Her legal mind is unparalleled!

Michael said...

Bannon apparently signed a confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement upon exiting the WH. Those kinds of agreements are common and are usually rigidly enforced. The non-disparagement feature would pertain.

Michael K said...

The Directors of Breitbart may be very unhappy with Bannon right now.

I have no idea what is behind this but Cernobvich has a theory that he was just on a rant and was recorded.

That seems far too simple and he was bringing Wolff into the White House.

I guess we'll see.

Karen said...

Since the whole book sounds like a “fever dream” of the left’s fantasies, why believe any part of it, including what it claims was said by Bannon?