After Criticism by Trump, Bannon Fights for Survival

Stephen Bannon’s political future has been put into question following his recent feud with President Donald Trump which ended in legal action against the president’s former chief strategist.

The heaviest blow for Bannon was most certainly the public criticism he received from Rebekah Mercer, his main financial backer, who said that she does not support “his political agenda, nor his recent actions and statements,” The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Hill says that Bannon’s political downfall has also been gratifying for some GOP politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has long been an adversary of his. The former strategist’s downfall has shocked some conservative strategists.

“Bannon has pretty effectively marginalized himself, with inexplicable speed,” said one long-established Republican strategist, who added that the former strategist has “lost a war on words with the president.”

Bannon loyalists, however, maintain that predictions of his demise are premature and claim the White House has overreacted. But they do admit that his most recent break with Trump is dispiriting.

“It’s a family fight. They always get back together,” said a source close to Bannon, acknowledging, however, that “this one could take some time.” The same source also maintained that the former strategist still has enormous influence with the conservative base, which could be used in the upcoming Senate race where Bannon has encouraged hard-right candidates to run against incumbent Republicans.

He said that even though his fallout with the president “put a damper on those efforts, there are a lot of voters out there still on Steve’s side.”

But others insisted that Bannon’s success in the past should not be confused with his claims that he could be a player in the primaries leading up to this year’s midterm elections.

“As an outside the box-thinking strategist and tactician, he was effective on several fronts. But there is no Bannon constituency. There isn’t a legion — or even a small group — of Bannon activists in Arizona or in some other state that can have an impact on an election,” said a senior Republican strategist.

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