In a lengthy interview, former White House adviser Steve Bannon offered hefty criticism of President Donald Trump and hinted that he may consider a White House bid of his own in 2020.
Bannon didn’t hold back in telling Vanity Fair about his deep frustrations with the Trump administration, even going so far as suggesting he could do a better job.
From the profile:
Inside the right-wing echo chamber, Bannon is lionized as a conquering folk hero. Well-wishers flock to snap selfies, press the flesh. At one event I chatted with an elderly man waiting his turn on the receiving line. “If I could ask him one question, it would be, why aren’t you president?’”
That has at least been a passing thought. In October, Bannon called an adviser and said he would consider running for president if Trump doesn’t run for re-election in 2020. Which Bannon has told people is a realistic possibility. In private conversations since leaving the White House, Bannon said Trump only has a 30 percent chance of serving out his term, whether he’s impeached or removed by the Cabinet invoking the 25th amendment. That prospect seemed to become more likely in early December when special counsel Robert Mueller secured a plea deal from former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Bannon has also remarked on the toll the office has taken on Trump, telling advisers his former boss has “lost a step.” “He’s like an 11-year-old child,” Bannon joked to a friend in November.
While Bannon praised Trump during our conversations—he said he’s the best orator since William Jennings Bryan—he doesn’t deny he was unhappy in the White House. “It was always a job,” he said. “I realize in hindsight I was just a staffer, and I’m not a good staffer. I had influence, I had a lot of influence, but just influence.” He told me he now feels liberated. “I have power. I can actually drive things in a certain direction.”
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