Steve Bannon is a horrible person, but he’s a fairly smart guy. He was smart enough to use the Donald Trump campaign to launch his own publication Breitbart to new heights. He was savvy enough to have puppetmaster-like control over Trump for his first six months in office. The trouble with Steve Bannon is that he really, really wants people to know how smart he is. Now that he’s been fired by Trump, he’s running his mouth about how smart he is – and in the process, he’s giving away key things that he shouldn’t.
Take for instance Bannon’s interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night. At one point he bragged that after the “grab em by the…” tape leaked, he was the one adviser who told Donald Trump he still had a “100%” chance of winning the election, even as others like Reince Priebus were telling him to drop out. Here’s the problem with that. Although it’s reasonable for an adviser to believe his candidate has a chance to win no matter how bad things get, it would be absurd to think that a losing candidate would have a 100% chance of winning as his most humiliating scandal was unfolding.
So let’s take Bannon at his word, that he really did believe Trump had a 100% chance of winning even after the Access Hollywood tape. He’s too smart to have believed this, unless he had some secret information the rest of us didn’t. Did he know Russia was rigging the election? After all, he was deeply involved in the Cambridge Analytica voter data debacle. Furthermore, if Bannon was that unreasonably confident that the tape wouldn’t hurt Trump, does this mean that he’s the one who leaked it as a distraction? After all, it surfaced within hours of the United States government’s public warning that Russia was trying to rig the election for Trump.
There are other things that Steve Bannon’s mouth seems to be giving away these days. In that same 60 Minutes interview, he was asked about Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, which has turned out to have been a huge mistake. Bannon was so eager to take credit for having advised Trump against it, calling it the worst mistake in “modern political history,” he essentially admitted that Trump has been doomed by that decision and the Special Counsel probe that came with it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report