Steve Bannon returned to Breitbart News on Friday, just over one year since he left the site to lead Donald Trump’s then-flailing presidential campaign and later became the chief strategist in the White House.
“The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today,” Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said Friday on the site. “Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda.”
Bannon later told Weekly Standard that he “built a f***ing machine at Breitbart” and “now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”
“I feel jacked up,” he added. “Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”
While White House officials have headed to the media, and vice versa, there’s no precedent for a chief strategist to resume running a news operation the same day ― not to mention promising to use the outlet as a weapon against adversaries.
Bannon’s departure was portrayed Friday as potentially the beginning of a public battle with members of the Trump team ― and perhaps even the president himself. The coverage of the West Wing shake-up at times more closely resembled that of a scene from Westeros.
“Winter is here,” said one source close to Bannon, evoking the “Game of Thrones” tagline, while another spoke of the former White House adviser now being “unchained.” There was even talk of “revolution” to come.
And Breitbart News White House correspondent Charlie Spiering tweeted that “Bannon the Barbarian was born.”
There was speculation that Bannon would now target the so-called “globalists” in the White House, such as national economic council director Gary Cohn and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, as well as the president’s family members Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
Though Breitbart directed some criticism toward Trump following his gratuitous attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime ideological ally, the site otherwise tends to lay blame for setbacks on the White House “globalists,” congressional Republicans and the mainstream news media.
The possibility of Bannon…