Thursday, 20 April 2017

Is Trump Sidelining Anti-Globalists in Administration?

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The anti-establishment forces that put President Donald Trump in power are reportedly being sidelined, and the globalist establishment could not be happier. Indeed, countless establishment media organs were openly celebrating in recent days and weeks as reports emerged of anti-globalist, anti-establishment voices within the Trump administration being pushed aside by the president. In their place, Trump has reportedly been relying instead on the very establishment types, globalists, liberals, Wall Street executives, and neocon warmongers who viciously attacked him every step of the way during his campaign.

If all of what the media claim about Trump's recent “flip flops” is true, the sense of betrayal already expressed by many of Trump's most fervent and dedicated supporters in recent weeks is likely to get worse. And while the establishment media (rightly ridiculed by Trump for the constant stream of “fake news” they publish) are not generally a credible source of information, in this case, there may be some truth to the claims. At least it looks that way.  

For instance, on April 11, Trump himself appeared to distance himself from White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in an interview with the New York Post. When asked whether he still has confidence in Bannon, a leading figure in the anti-globalist and anti-establishment camp within the upper ranks of the administration, Trump refused to offer a definitive “yes” to end the establishment media claims and speculation.

Instead, Trump downplayed Bannon and his role within the Trump team. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump was quoted as saying. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.... Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.” By “them,” Trump was referring to other figures in his administration such as son-in-law Jared Kushner who were reportedly at odds with Bannon.

And beyond Trump's statements, concrete progress in what appears to be the sidelining of Bannon has already been achieved. Most obvious, perhaps, was the fact that Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs executive turned anti-establishment figure, was recently stripped from his position on the National Security Council — and that follows the ouster of another outsider, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.  

Considering that Bannon is perhaps the most well-known official close to Trump among the anti-globalist anti-establishment faction that propelled the president into the White House on an anti-globalist anti-establishment platform, Bannon's apparent fall from grace is likely significant, even if it is being over-hyped by the press. Another anti-globalist Trump senior advisor, Stephen Miller, is also said to be increasingly sidelined as establishment globalists surround Trump and burrow their way into the administration.     

For months, the “fake news” establishment media, as Trump puts it, painted Bannon as both a powerful force in the Trump administration and as some sort of extreme nationalist right-winger at best. At worst, Bannon was dishonestly painted as a hardcore racist anti-Semite, similar to the bogus smears hurled indiscriminately at Trump and many of his top aides by the extreme globalist press. More recently, fake news from the dying propaganda establishment organ Newsweek, which sold for $1, absurdly tried to link Bannon to Putin, at least "ideologically."

Of course, the lies about Bannon's alleged racism and anti-Semitism were typical of the lies and “fake news” smears put out by the press. For example, the dishonest media endlessly harped on an article published by the news service Bannon ran about Bill Kristol, which referred to the neocon warmonger as a “renegade Jew.” What the establishment media did not mention amid the frothing at the mouth was that the article was actually written by a Jew — a fact that, if known, would completely undermine the establishment media's bogus narrative about Bannon and Breitbart. The fake news about Bannon's supposed “ideological ties to Russia” and Putin was even more transparently fraudulent.

Before joining the Trump campaign and helping lead it to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, Bannon was the executive chair of Breitbart News, the influential and widely read right-of-center online publication backed by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer. While Trump had already spoken out regularly against globalism, Bannon is credited by more than a few analysts with helping to focus and fine-tune Trump's wildly successful anti-globalist, “America First” message to voters.

On the campaign trail, Trump was crystal clear in his messaging. “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” Trump told voters profoundly outraged by the globalism and warmongering of both establishment Republicans and Democrats. He also warned of Clinton's links to a “cabal” including “international bankers” that was plotting “global government.” The message was a resounding success — Trump won a landslide victory in terms of electors, despite virtually the entire media and political establishment lined up against him.  

But now, with Bannon under fire and the anti-establishment message being toned down, many of his strongest supporters wonder what is happening. From including in his administration multiple known globalists from the Council on Foreign Relations to waffling on key campaign pledges such as non-intervention in Syria or the pledge to “cancel” the United Nations Paris Agreement, to apparently sidelining the best-known anti-globalists in his administration, the concerns appear increasingly justified.

What is happening with Bannon is hard to determine exactly amid the endless stream of fake news from the establishment media. But it appears that key Trump people — especially the globalists in his administration such as National Economic Council boss Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs, a liberal Democrat, along with Trump's liberal daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — are seeking to drive him out. Two leading anti-Trump propaganda organs of the establishment, the New York Times and the Washington Post, cited alleged anonymous sources to report on the supposed feud.

And along with Bannon, at least some of the anti-establishment and anti-globalist platform Trump campaigned on seems to be falling by the wayside as well. In recent days, for example, NATO went from being obsolete to being “not obsolete.” “I said [NATO] was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete,” Trump said after a meeting with the globalist secretary-general of the military alliance that is a UN subsidiary. And that was just the start of a spectacular retreat from key positions he took on the campaign trail.    

On the illegal UN Paris Agreement Obama sought to impose on America, Trump went from vowing to “cancel” it to having his administration float lame excuses for why they may keep it. On Syria, Trump went from a hardcore non-interventionist to unconstitutionally lobbing missiles without congressional approval. Trump also now supports the communist regime-financing Ex-Im Bank. The Communist Chinese dictatorship is no longer a currency manipulator, either. Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen can stay. NAFTA only needs minor tweaks. And so on.     

Citing Trump's reversal on so many key issues, the anti-Trump Washington Post reported that “moderates” — basically the establishment's preferred term for establishment-minded globalist and statist extremists — were taking over the administration. “It was the clearest sign yet that an alliance of moderates in the White House — including Cohn; senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and another influential Goldman Sachs alumnus, Dina Powell — is racking up successes in a battle over ideology and control with hardcore conservatives led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who held sway at the start of the administration,” claimed the Post, which lost virtually all of its remaining credibility during the 2016 election.

Of course, whether Bannon and the broader anti-establishment wing is really out remains unclear. David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, told Vanity Fair that Bannon was not going anywhere. “Steve is part of the team,” he was quoted as saying. “He was part of the team during the campaign. He is part of the team now. It is not about Steve. It is about the ideas that elected Donald Trump.” But as the ideas that elected Donald Trump get pushed aside, Bannon and the anti-establishment, anti-globalist Americans who elected Trump may get dumped overboard too.

At the same time, though, as news of Trump supposedly abandoning his base and his promises began making headlines, Trump also countered that essentially nothing had changed. “One by one we are keeping our promises — on the border, on energy, on jobs, on regulations. Big changes are happening!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Jobs are returning, illegal immigration is plummeting, law, order and justice are being restored. We are truly making America great again!”

And it is true, of course, that Trump has also kept many of his key promises — the Trans-Pacific Partnership is toast, enforcement of immigration laws is happening once again, much of Obama's “climate” regime is being dismantled, and more. But Trump voters — conservatives, patriots, working-class Americans, and more — are certainly justified in expressing concerns about the direction policy and personnel are going in the Trump administration. With enough public pressure, it may still be possible to get Trump to reverse course and keep the “Trump Train” on track to, as he put it, Make America Great Again.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook.

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