By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Oct 24 (IANS) Chief strategist of the Donald Trump 2016 campaign Steve Bannon has stormed back into his old role of communications war room chief to aggressively defend the US president with a bare knuckle podcast run from his basement digs as impeachment peril swallows the White House.
Barely 12 months remain before the 2020 elections.
Bannon’s comeback is happening on the same day Trump lashed out at his own party, tweeting: “Never Trumper Republicans” are “in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. They are human scum!”
Democrats have launched a swiftly moving impeachment inquiry last month in response to a whistleblower revelation that Trump allegedly pressurised Ukraine for dirt on a political opponent and withheld military aid.
The Trump guardrails are straining under the pressure of a steady stream of closed door testimonies by highly ranked government functionaries that are ripping up the White House storyline. Republicans are worried about the lack of White House coordination and saturation messaging.
Bannon’s hourlong show, starting Wednesday, is called ‘War Room: Impeachment’. It will air daily at 9 a.m. on at least six conservative talk radio stations in Virginia and Florida. (Podcast link: https://warroom.org/category/war-room-impeachment/)
Bannon says he will run this operation “until the day after the acquittal of Donald J. Trump”. Contained within it is more than just a battle cry for the Trump base to echo, Bannon and his co-hosts also offer a communications rubric for White House administration officials.
Bannon’s fear is almost palpable in the latest episode aired Wednesday evening EST. Bannon explains: “Nancy Pelosi, right before Thanksgiving, is going to bring two articles of impeachment. One is going to be abuse of power, the other is going to be obstruction of justice. They’re going to pass that and send it to the Senate and the Senate is then going to act as the jury for the potential removal of Donald J. Trump from office.”
Bannon says he has launched the podcast because the Trump base needs some “organising principles, some location where we can hear everything that’s going on about this process everyday”.
“As sure as the turning of the earth, Nancy Pelosi is going to bring articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Whether you like her or not, whether you agree or not, she is tough as boot leather,” says Bannon in his opening lines.
Bannon has two co-hosts on the podcast Jason Miller and Raheem Kassam. Jason Miller is former communications director of the Trump campaign in 2016, and Raheem Kassam, a former editor at Breitbart.
While praising Democratic speaker Nancy Pelosi as the best communicator on the Opposition side, Bannon’s podcast sounds a warning to the Republican creed: “We need to get the base fired up. We don’t have an elevator pitch to describe this away. They’re saying Trump went to a foreign power for dirt on an opponent and he held back aid. That takes just 30 seconds.”
Bannon frames the bigger battle as one where the “progressive left” fears that Donald Trump’s “transformation of the judiciary” and other policies will be in their personal lives “10, 20, 30 years from now”.
That’s why, Bannon says, “they (Democrats) worked like Trojans” to take back the House in the midterm elections 2018.
The Bannon-led podcast is the former Trump strategist’s official return to his old hunting ground of cultural schisms in the US. Bannon abruptly left the White House in August 2017, reportedly after run-ins with the Trump children.
“Steve Bannon believes that politics is downstream from culture. They were seeking out companies to build an arsenal of weapons to fight a culture war,” the now defunct Cambridge Analytica’s pink haired whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the US Senate after the US election year Facebook scandal set off global shock waves.