The Corner

Politics & Policy

Krauthammer’s Take: ‘If I Were Trump, I’d Keep Bannon Around on a Leash’

Bret Baier asked whether Trump would keep Steve Bannon in the White House rather than risk him becoming a critic from outside it, and Charles Krauthammer argued that Trump is likely to keep Bannon on for that reason:

I think that’s exactly why he is likely to stay on. Because if you calculate, as you just did, it’s infinitely safer to keep him inside the tent, to keep him on the periphery perhaps, but keeping an eye on him. It’s the old, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” He isn’t an enemy, but he could be the potential one if he gets kicked out, particularly in a humiliating way, particularly if it is portrayed in the press as a clash between him and a newcomer, Jared Kushner.

The interesting part is you can have the Bannon in the White House, but Bannonism is in decline, it’s in eclipse. It is clear that the foreign policy is not that of the inaugural address, which was radically non-interventionist. It was anti-NATO, anti-allies, it was anti-anything he said, “America first, we’re going to stay home.” The foreign policy is now being run by or at least guided by the old-boy network of the generals that he has appointed. In defense and national security, they’re the ones who gave him or who gave him the backing and the outlines of the Syria strike, and they are in ascendency. If I were Trump, I would keep Bannon around on a leash and having as little influence, at least on these issues, as you can.

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