The Slatest

Steve Bannon’s New Desire to Help Shut Down Mueller Investigation Shows He Really Wants to Get Trump’s Attention

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: (L-R), Presidenital advisor Stephen Miller, Presidential advisor, Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, listen as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an Executive Memorandum on the investigation of steel imports, in the Oval Office at the White House, on April 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The Gang in the good old days.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Fallen White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wants back in. He misses the juice. The Trump. The game. Bannon didn’t say this, of course, but today’s Washington Post report screamed it, as the former Trump whisperer is letting it be known he was some pretty good ideas, if he says so himself, about how to shut down the Russia investigation. The Post, dutifully, outlines Bannon’s strategy, as described, on the record, by Bannon.

1. Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation at the Department of Justice.

2. Stop cooperating with the Mueller investigation, reversing the strategy of Trump’s current legal team. (“[Trump lawyer] Ty Cobb should be fired immediately,” Bannon told the Post.)

3. Assert executive privilege, thereby creating “a new legal battleground to protect himself.” This was a Post paraphrase, but it sounds like vintage Bannon.

4. Declare null and void the info collected by the special counsel through interviews with White House staff. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively,” Bannon explained. A legally tenuous idea, but a fun one!

5. Make Bannon Deputy President. Or something.

Great ideas, Steve! We missed you! Now just to get them in front of the president, who will surely see your heart is pure. For now, the Post reports, Bannon has been floating his ideas through Trump back channels because he’s not allowed to play in the front channels anymore. Bannon, who has been relegated to skulking around back channels, like a common aide, appears to be sending smoke signals to the Oval Office that he’s totally sorry.

This newfound aggressiveness towards Mueller “represents an evolution” for Bannon, the Post notes, as a year ago he backed a hands-off approach to dealing with the Russia investigation and the Justice Department. What’s different than it was a year ago? For one, Bannon doesn’t have a job now. Or a website. So, like Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich before him, he’s decided the best way back in the game is by sucking up.