The thing about bad guys is that, even if they do make the selfish strategic decision to help out the good guys on something, it doesn’t mean they suddenly start thinking or acting like one of the good guys. By all accounts, preeminent bad guy Steve Bannon has been playing for Team Mueller, maybe to save himself, maybe to screw Donald Trump. But now Bannon’s latest move, while right in line with what you’d classically expect from him, doesn’t quite add up.
Bannon was in France this week, trying to help racist politicians get ahead, according to CNN. This isn’t surprising; Bannon did the same thing in the United States when he threw his weight behind Donald Trump’s racist campaign, and he was doing roughly the same thing during the years he was running racist propaganda site Breitbart. Here’s the thing, though. While it’s not illegal to campaign for openly racist candidates, one would think Bannon would be laying low right now.
After Steve Bannon got done playing hide-and-go-seek with Donald Trump’s puppets on the House Intel Committee, widespread media reports said that Bannon sat down with Robert Mueller for twenty hours worth of testimony and essentially gave him everything. The question at the time was whether Bannon was strictly seeking revenge against Trump after he came out on the wrong end of their falling out, or if Bannon might have also been trying to get off the legal hook for his own role in the Trump-Russia scandal.
Sam Nunberg announced to the media this week that Bannon was one of the people he’d been subpoenaed to testify about before a grand jury. This subpoena had been issued before Bannon spilled his guts to Mueller, suggesting that Mueller had indeed been targeting Bannon. If that’s the case, then Bannon should be trying to lay low and act like a good citizen as Mueller decides whether to charge him and how severely to try to punish him. Instead, Bannon is out there playing the villain again.
Based on their pure evil nature, we tend to think of these villains as always having a cleverly evil plan up their sleeves. Then the likes of Roger Stone and Sam Nunberg appear on television, and we’re reminded that at least some of these villains don’t have a clue, let alone a plan. They’re cracking up as they’re facing the prospect of having to sell each other out just to marginally survive this scandal. Maybe Steve Bannon is too far gone to be able to act in his own self interest, either.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report