The Bannon-Kushner holy war isn’t getting solved with dry erase boards.
For a White House already grappling with the knowledge that record-setting numbers of Americans openly hate its guts right now, last week’s news of the Steve Bannon-Jared Kushner holy war unfolding in the West Wing hallways came as an understandably unwelcome development. This weekend, President Trump took it upon himself to address these distressing rumors of turmoil within his administration by…breaking out his best ear-pulling, timeout-assigning schoolmarm act. CNN reports that Mar-a-Lago’s Peace Table is very much open for business:
Amid the croquet players and lunch guests mingling at Mar-a-Lago Friday, a more sober gathering was unfolding under the palms. Steve Bannon, the bomb-throwing former Breitbart executive who serves as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was huddling at an out-of-the-way table with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in an attempt to broker peace in a deepening—and, increasingly, distracting—rift between rival West Wing factions.
As Trump grew frustrated with the clear tensions between Bannon and Kushner, his ascendant senior adviser, he insisted they work out their differences. “We gotta work this out,” Trump told the pair on Thursday, according to a White House official. “Cut it out.”
Remember how Donald Trump ran for president claiming that he was some kind of managerial savant whose decades of business acumen would allow him to run the White House more efficiently than his predecessors could ever dream of? Cool, because this fraudulent carnival barker is seriously responding to an extremely public and probably-intractable conflict between two of his closest advisers—in one corner, his Jewish son-in-law who has voted Democrat for most of his life, and in the other, an anti-Semitic ethno-nationalist who wants to “destroy the administrative state”—by instructing them to just figure it out, like a couple of dipshit second-graders disputing the ownership of a sparkly Pokémon card. Here’s how that conversation went, probably:
JARED, HOPEFULLY: Steve, I know things have been tense between us of late, but the truth is that I’m in over my head here.
BANNON, UNBLINKING: [Emits muted hiss]
JARED, HIS SMILE FADING: I’m..listen, I’m just terrified every day of disappointing my unhinged father-in-law, who for some godforsaken reason still believes I’m qualified to do any of the tasks he’s assigned to me. That’s what’s on my mind. Now, will you share some of your feelings?
BANNON, IN HIS NATIVE PARSELTONGUE:Limp-wristed globalist cuck.
JARED: [Nervously looks around to make sure Mar-a-Lago has security cameras]
Meanwhile, Politico reports that the administration’s public relations efforts to salvage the remainder of Trump’s first 100 days in office are proceeding about how you’d expect.
More than 30 Trump staffers piled into a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjoining the White House on Tuesday, according to a half-dozen attendees who described the meeting. Mike Dubke, Trump’s communications director, and his deputy, Jessica Ditto, kicked off the discussion of how to package Trump’s tumultuous first 100 days by pitching the need for a “rebranding” to get Trump back on track.
This is delicious. Right, so far, our fearless leader has spent his presidency getting dragged by the courts, failing spectacularly at health care reform, embarrassing his country in front of prominent foreign leaders, and, when the weight of those monumental tasks becomes too much for one man, playing a [shocking amount of golf](http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/10/politics/trump-golf-obama/). But we’re just getting started! Who’s got ideas, gang? Remember, there are no wrong answers here.
Staffers, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, were broken into three groups, complete with whiteboards, markers and giant butcher-block-type paper to brainstorm lists of early successes. One group worked in the hallway. “It made me feel like I was back in fifth grade,” complained another White House aide who was there. “That’s the best way I could describe it.”
To be fair, these types of bullshit breakout sessions do comprise the most grimly impotent phylum of all the inane problem-solving strategies that corporate America has to offer, but it’s nonetheless hard to imagine that the missing link in this administration will turn out to be an Office Depot shopping trip. At this point, these folks would be wise to use that butcher paper to craft “PLEASE SEND HELP” signs that they can hold up in the White House windows next time Bannon goes into a blind rage and threatens to “disappear” the administrative agency of the next staffer who laughs a little too loudly at one of Kushner’s jokes in front of him.
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