It now appears that the honeymoon between Donald Trump and Steve Bannon may already be officially over. As various top White House staffers continue to leak embarrassing insider details to newspapers, it’s provided a near-daily glimpse into how the chaotic Trump administration is playing out. The latest: Trump wasn’t briefed on what he was signing when he signed off on the executive order adding Bannon to the National Security Council – and now he’s pissed at Bannon.
This revelation may sound outrageous, but it’s coming straight from the New York Times, which has an inside source. The story goes that Donald Trump didn’t bother to read the executive order that was placed in front of him which reorganized the National Security Council, and wasn’t told that he was elevating Steve Bannon above the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When the inevitable backlash exploded, only then did Trump learn what he had signed off on. And he’s more outraged at that particular bit of trickery than he was when federal judges shut down his Muslim ban.
The timing of this leak is notable in that it comes after Palmer Report helped to expose the obscure and never-tested statute which gives the Senate the power to advise and content on whether Bannon should be allowed on the NSC. Despite the efforts made by the executive order to position Bannon as not technically being on the NSC because he’s now the centerpiece of the NSC, Democrats in Congress have nonetheless moved forward with an attempt at legally blocking Bannon, suggesting Trump may now be trying to lay the groundwork for walking back the appointment rather than fighting the battle.
This leak also comes just one day after Steve Bannon showed up on the cover of Time Magazine, and then Saturday Night Live declared that Bannon was the real president. So it’s equally possible that Trump leaked his anger to the Times simply as a way of punishing Bannon. Then again, as we’ve already seen, Trump does not read the executive orders he’s signing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report