Weekend Trump fix: Bannon, big bomb, more palace intrigue, angry voters

US President Donald Trump’s shock and awe week of dramatic military escalation was headlined by the mother of all bombs - the United States dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan Thursday, killing dozens of Islamic State militants. This is the first time that the 21,000 pound GPS guided bomb has been used in combat, the Afghan government said 36 Islamic State militants have been killed. This comes a week after Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

Kushner and Bannon in happier times/ Reuters

Kushner and Bannon in happier times/ Reuters

The Bannon-Kushner infighting
Trump is 84 days into the first 100 days of his presidency and what do we make of Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s exit from the National Security Council - an unprecedented role for a political adviser. Soon after Bannon was booted from the NSC, Trump described Bannon as “a guy who works for me” but not saying whether he supports him or not. True to form, Trump said he’s his own strategist. “Steve is a good guy, but I told them (Kushner and Bannon) to straighten it out or I will," Trump told the New York Post. What’s we know for sure is that Bannon and Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner are unable to agree on policy, Bannon is dismissive of Kushner’s ( read Ivanka Trump’s) more moderate views. The palace intrigue is getting murkier. Will Trump fire Bannon altogether and if that happens, how many ways can Bannon seek revenge is what Washington D.C insiders are discussing.

Trump's voters are fuming
How are Trump’s most loyal voters - the ones for whom he dropped an emotional anchor - feeling after the mother of all bombs halfway across the world? They care more about Mr. Steven Bannon and they’re fuming. A closed Facebook group has come up called The concerned support base for President Trump. “Red flags visible” says the cover picture. Trump’s voters see Bannon’s waning influence and the ascent of moderate Wall Street networkers as enemy action against the populist cause that blasted Trump into the White House.

The China schmooze
Policy flip flops have extended to campaign promises that cover the globe - latest one coming after the Trump-Xi meeting where Ivanka’s daughter Arabella sang a fabled Chinese song for the visiting power couple. 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. Soon enough, the US Treasury said ditto, late Friday.

More secrecy
To close out the week, the Trump administration closed another door - the practice of disclosing the identities of most visitors to the White House will end because it “posed "grave national security risks and privacy concerns," US media reported. Now, it’s entirely up to White House officials’ discretion to release names of people who meet with Trump or his advisers, yet another step that limits access to both media and the public.

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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2017 02:54:17 IST

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