The media gets involved "in a bunch of myths," and attacks on Steve Bannon are, at the root, attacks on President Donald Trump, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who went through several such incidents while in President George W. Bush's administration, said Tuesday.
"I had a biography written by two Texas left-wing journalists, entitled "Bush's Brain," Rove, now a Fox News political correspondent, told the "America's Newsroom" program. "That was about using me to attack him and many of these attacks on Bannon have to do with attacking Trump. This is what the press sometimes does and particularly when the Democrats announce that that's their strategy."
Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has come under scrutiny over his role and influence with Trump, including being the subject of a Time Magazine cover that labeled him the "great manipulator" and a Saturday Night Live skit which lampooned him as the Grim Reaper, and Trump as being under his influence.
Rove has also come into the current discussion, with claims being made that Democrats are trying to turn Bannon into a "scarier Karl Rove," and the former presidential aide said he can't imagine a "more worthless thing" for them to do.
However, he admitted that sometimes, a president will allow an aide like himself or Bannon to take the brunt of the blame on issues.
"When there would be some particularly nasty piece, Bush would laugh and say 'better you than me,'" said Rove. "Sometimes it's better for the people around the president to take the arrows. Let's not kid ourselves. This is an effort to diminish the president and diminish the people around him. Most of the time it fails unless there is something fundamentally flawed in that individual."
Fox correspondent Melissa Francis commented that often Trump pushes a line of discussion to "be a subject of attack while he is off doing something else," such as the current report claiming 78 incidents of terrorism were not reported by the media, and Rove admitted that is a strategy presidents sometimes use.
"A, you have to be careful not to overuse it and B, you have to be careful it doesn't boomerang," said Rove, noting the tactic was also used during arguments over Trump's inaugural crowd size.
"I think it would have been better to have the attention on some of the other things he was doing, like the Obamacare executive order which was issued on Friday and buried underneath all of this stuff," said Rove.
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