In his first interview shortly after the White House announced that it was parting ways with Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon told the Weekly Standard on Friday afternoon that “the Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.” After confirming his departure Bannon said that “we still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”
In his interview with the conservative publication, Bannon predicted that in the wake of his departure, Trump’s administration would “be much more conventional” as his absence from the White House would make it “much harder” for Trump to pave a way forward on issues like “economic nationalism and immigration.” He also predicted that republicans would “moderate” Trump:
“I think they’re going to try to moderate him,” he says. “I think he’ll sign a clean debt ceiling, I think you’ll see all this stuff. His natural tendency—and I think you saw it this week on Charlottesville—his actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you’re going to see a lot of constraints on that. I think it’ll be much more conventional.”
In Bannon’s view, his departure is not a defeat for him personally but for the ideology he’d urged upon the president, as reflected in Trump’s provocative inaugural address in which he spoke of self-dealing Washington politicians, and their policies that led to the shuttered factories and broken lives of what he called “American carnage.” Bannon co-authored that speech (and privately complained that it had been toned down by West Wing moderates like Ivanka and Jared).
“Now, it’s gonna be Trump,” Bannon said. “The path forward on things like economic nationalism and immigration, and his ability to kind of move freely . . . I just think his ability to get anything done—particularly the bigger things, like the wall, the bigger, broader things that we fought for, it’s just gonna be that much harder.”