FACT CHECK: Trump forgets tense time in US-Russia history

Trump told the New York Post that "I'm my own strategist", and said he had told Bannon and his adversaries, whom he didn't name, "to straighten it out or I will".

The AP also reported Wednesday that at least $1.2 million in payments listed in a handwritten ledger in Ukraine as paid to Manafort were received by his U.S. consulting firm.

It's unclear whether Trump was aware that Manafort was in talks with the government about registering before he hired him.

"I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late", he told the Post. Bannon may have encouraged Trump's combative, nationalist tendencies, but he isn't the reason that the Trump "pivot" is a mirage.

The more likely outcome if Bannon goes is that he returns to Breitbart and continues to expand on its emerging media empire.

Trump's relationship with Bannon became impossible to ignore as of November 2015 - four months into his presidential run - when the GOP frontrunner gave an interview to Bannon's Breitbart News Daily. First Bannon was removed from the National Security Council, then stories began to circle about apple-cheeked golden boy Kushner openly feuding with Bannon, who, by point of contrast, looks like one of those eyeless fleshy things fishermen find in the deep ocean.

As President Donald Trump grappled with the realities of governing, leaks about infighting within his administration, and multiple global conflicts, two of his top aides, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were far from the White House.

And now, the president seems to be distancing himself from his chief strategist.

There have been occasional reports of Trump's frustration with Spicer, but his cutting public remarks about Bannon sounded like a kiss of death, though the signaling from the White House on how they might be read was contradictory - probably because they were being filtered by factional allies and enemies. After spending his entire campaign trail ranting about China, Trump reversed his stand and said China is not manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage.

As Bannon's influence within the administration has diminished, many commentators have taken this as a sign that his ideology has also fallen out of favor with the president, to be replaced by the ostensible technocratic moderation of son-in-law-in-chief Jared Kushner. The most male cabinet in decades wouldn't change, nor would the Vice President; let's not forget Mike Pence's terrifying stance on abortion, his refusal to meet alone with women besides his wife, and the fact that two women in IN were imprisoned for "feticide" (i.e., the beginning of a slippery slope that leads to punishments for abortion).

Jared Kushner is a NY real estate mogul and the husband of Ivanka Trump. They contend that Trump has abandoned his "America First" policy, which the alt right supported, because he is being manipulated by Kushner and other Jewish advisors. "They are expected to implement the president's agenda, but have no input or ability to get ideas in front of Jared".

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, February 1, 2017. He'd have the same dilemma that conservative talk radio hosts had past year in assessing whether to dismiss him as a RINO or to praise him: If you force your base of right-wing populists to choose between you and the politically incorrect alpha male Trump, how confident are you that they'll choose you?

Kushner, on the other hand, has always been viewed as a moderating force, a check on Bannon's more unsavory tendencies.

  • Leroy Wright