What the colum­nists said

Ban­non says fir­ing Comey was a ma­jor mis­take

The Week (US) - - News 5 -

Ban­non’s “hos­tile takeover of the GOP is just get­ting started,” said Jonathan Tobin in Na­tion­alRe­view.com. The Bre­it­bart boss is re­port­edly plot­ting pri­mary chal­lenges against four sit­ting Repub­li­can se­na­tors. Those fights will suck “tens of mil­lions of dol­lars” from the GOP’s cof­fers, said Matt Lewis in TheDai­lyBeast.com, giv­ing a boost to Democrats in 2018. But maybe that suits the al­tright provo­ca­teur just fine. From his “rev­o­lu­tion­ary” view­point, he be­lieves “he must first de­stroy the GOP, then save it.”

Ban­non cul­ti­vates the im­age of a “street fighter” turned Trump­ist in­tel­lec­tual, said Jamelle Bouie in Slate.com. But his “eco­nomic na­tion­al­ism” is a smoke screen for white na­tion­al­ism. When asked by Rose to de­fend him­self from charges of racism, Ban­non de­nied im­mi­grants had helped build Amer­ica and claimed it was “built on our cit­i­zens”—a de­ceit­ful re­vi­sion of U.S. his­tory. “As for Ban­non’s al­leged tac­ti­cal ge­nius?” He has helped Trump ac­com­plish “noth­ing, save a low and sink­ing ap­proval rat­ing.”

Ban­non’s most telling com­ments in­volved Mueller, said Paul Wald­man in Wash­ing­tonPost.com. Trump’s cam­paign master­mind hinted that if the spe­cial coun­sel is delv­ing into the pres­i­dent’s shady busi­ness deal­ings, the chances he’ll “find some­thing fishy or even crim­i­nal are very high in­deed.” And Ban­non char­ac­ter­ized Trump’s fir­ing of Comey as a griev­ous er­ror—im­ply­ing it was worse than Bill Clin­ton’s af­fair with Mon­ica Lewin­sky, or “any num­ber of de­ci­sions Richard Nixon made.” If it’s worse than those, “it can only mean that it could end Trump’s pres­i­dency.”

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