Steve Bannon’s thirst for revenge is a big worry for Trump

3 January 2018 3:10 PM

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon

Donald Trump is becoming increasingly unbuttoned. Last night, he tweeted referring to Kim Jong–un that: ‘I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!’ To Trump, size matters.

Yesterday was a big—or bigly—day for Trump. He started it off by taking a swipe at Hillary Clinton’s former aide Huma Abedin, declaring that she should be locked up for email malfeasance, an old charge that he periodically resuscitates. For good measure, he fulminated about the ‘Deep State’ at the Justice Department that be believes, or purports to believe, is conniving to shield Hillary Clinton from prosecution and to undermine him. But the real newsmaker turned out to be the retirement of Utah senator Orrin Hatch, who has been one of Trump’s biggest champions. Hatch, who is 83 years-old, has now set the stage for former Republican presidential Mitt Romney to return to the stage as Trump’s greatest antagonist. Trump, who once said that Romney ‘choked like a dog’ during his 2012 run against Barack Obama, had pleaded with Hatch to run for a fresh term. Instead, if Romney runs, as is likely, Trump will confront a fresh and powerful antagonist in the senate. Coupled with Alabama’s election of Doug Jones to the senate, Trump now faces two potential additional votes for impeachment.

He has reason to worry. Apart from Romney, Steve Bannon, Trump’s former strategist, is now seeking his revenge against the administration. An intellectual and political arsonist, Bannon is torching his former colleagues on the campaign. Bannon, who may harbour his own plans to run for the presidency, says that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York between high-ranking campaign officials, including Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic’, the Guardian is reporting. Bannon correctly notes that they ‘should have called the FBI immediately’. The Guardian says it has seen a copy of a new book by the prominent author Michael Wolff which contains these assertions as well, as a prediction from Bannon: ‘They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.’ According to Bannon, ‘This is all about money laundering…It’s as plain as a hair on your face.’ Well, well. Wolff’s book is called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and is certain to cause its own furore. It quotes Thomas Barrack Jr, one of Trump’s billionaire cronies, as allegedly stating of the president, ‘He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid’. Maybe it isn’t the Democrats who will bring down Trump, but his own vituperative inner circle.