“How long before Bannon is fired?”
That was how one veteran Washington correspondent began a conversation with me following reports Thursday morning of White House counselor Steve Bannon’s sensational interview with the liberal American Prospect magazine.
White House sources tell me that Bannon could be out quite soon because of his revelations about President Trump’s Korea policy. Bannon’s remarks appeared to undermine the president’s gamesmanship using threats of a military option against the North Korean regime.
“There’s no military solution — forget it,” Bannon told the Prospect. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here; they got us.”
One source close to the National Security Council told me, “The president had the North Koreans really believing they could wake up to a strike, taking out their nuclear weapons and command and control facilities. Steve just blew that out of the water.”
President Trump has long criticized the Obama administration for telegraphing his military plans in fighting terror.
Another White House source told Newsmax that Trump is not angry with Bannon over his China comments or even his stand on Confederate monuments, a view they share.
But the disclosure of the most sensitive military strategy of the nation, even if it had been off the record, only forces Gen. John Kelly and others to demand his dismissal, a source said.
Bannon thought his conversation with the Prospect was “off the record.”
Other press are hearing similar murmuring from senior White House staff. “Sooner rather than later,” one longtime White House correspondent characterized the probable firing of Bannon to me privately Thursday morning.
No one as close to a president has given such a controversy-laden interview since Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman described to a magazine editor Ronald Reagan’s tax and budget plan: “None of us really understands what is going on.” Reagan famously took Stockman to the woodshed but didn’t fire him.
Bannon, already at war with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his NSC adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster, may have overplayed his cards this time.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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