Rogue CNN Chapter 11: Regime change?

((Rogue CNN exists in a parallel universe to ours where a property developer and reality TV star gets elected President))
Wolf: Another week, another scene of political turmoil. We have seen since Charlottesville: Bannon, Gorka, two councils of CEOs and the Science Advisor all resigned. Republican leaders McConnell, Crocker, Kasich and Romney seem to reconstitute the never-Trump movement. And even Paul Ryan shows some defiance. A racist Arizona sheriff is back in - with the President pardon as Hurricane Harvey hits Texas - I guess he hoped we might miss it, but on the positive side a whole bunch of civil war monuments may be going soon - despite the Presidents wishes and may constitute a constitutional crisis.
We'll start it simple. We are about to go to the White House for Strauss’s first Press Conference since the President got back from holiday. I am sure Strauss will want to tell us about how Steve Bannon left the White House. Before we go over there what does our panel think of the latest developments?
Gergan: I am sure that Strauss will be thrilled. It’s no secret how much the two hated each other. I’m also sure that the war with Bannon will now intensify. At Breitbart I am sure they are saying to quote Mark Antony in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war".
Wolf: We have to go over to the White House now – we understand that Strauss with a large smile on his face has been handing out a cd of George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun" with a photo of Bannon leaving the room. But Kellyanne Conway just tweeted that there's also a version of Dylan's "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" on the end of it. So a complicated message.
Strauss: As I am sure you have heard Steve Bannon is gone from the White House staff. As you know, he and the American right have been trying to re-write and reverse the message of history.
With him gone and others to follow, this Presidency needs only one further readjustment to achieve success, and that will be removing the President (laughs from the press)... excuse me, I meant to say, that will be removing the President's twitter account from active use.
Rogue CNN; Is it true you've been privately talking with Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey about deleting the President's Twitter account on the grounds of inciting hatred?
Strauss: I refuse to dignify that with a comment. You'll have to seek out my twitter feed to Jack. Or to quote former President Francis Underwood '"You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment.'
Rogue Washington Post:  There is a rumor going round that the reason the President sacked Bannon is to enable him to be more effective at Breitbart again, and then if the President’s twitter account goes he will just use their site to release his thoughts. Do you have any comment on that?
Strauss: The big error with that theory is the word "thoughts", plural. It implies the President can hold onto to more than one at a time. The reason twitter works so well politically is that it can make even an incoherent imbecile sound profound. We're less concerned with Trump using twitter than with Breitbart using Trump.
Rogue New Yorker: In his earlier writings and in many of his interviews, Bannon has accused the left of responsibility for destructive actions that were clearly conducted by the far right. He even has a phrase for it he likes to use, 'false flag' actions. There was a scenario leaked from concerned White House staff several months ago that Bannon wanted to use violence at demonstrations to justify added security measures. Will Bannon leaving the staff reduce that risk ?
Strauss: Personally, I'm not sure how effective it will be at diluting his far-right influence on policy, which he can now champion more overtly as a movement leader and propagandist. More significantly, I'm not sure it will impede his ability to encourage the President on what is a far more dangerous strategy - provoking violence that can be blamed on minorities, democrats or the left as a rationale for declaring various forms of states of emergency and suspension of rights.
However, I can hopefully say that 'the generals' in the administration are aware of that risk, and are working out scenarios on how to deal with it if that happens.
Rogue New York Times: We hear that the President has taken on a new strategic advisor to replace Bannon - Barron Trump. He was seen exiting Marine 1 wearing a t-shirt printed ‘The Expert’. Is this true and if so isn't he a bit young?
Strauss: Kim Jong-il the former leader of North Korea had his son Kim Jong-un made Vice Chairman of the Central Military Command of North Korea at the age of 24. Trump is determined to beat that nepotism. Barron may be only 11 but he seems to have his mom's fashion sense and his older half-sister's instinct for avoiding conflict. We think these should serve him well at his post, if we can get him off his play station where he enjoys playing the game 'Global Domination'. He could become known as the least dangerous Trump.
Rogue Fox: Are the White House staff worried personally about Breitbart and what it might now do with Bannon having proclaimed #war when he left?
Strauss: I would think Fox is more worried than anyone. They've dropped in the ratings precipitously since the President took over, and now some of its stars are actually acting like journalists with a concern for facts and the future of the country. Don’t be at all surprised if Breitbart challenges them from the far right for viewers and rehires some of the people Fox sacked.
Rogue CNN: What is your view of the ‘on all sides’ comment by the President and the fallout?
Strauss: We had all worked very hard on the Monday statement and explaining why it was important to the President. On Tuesday, he had a great opportunity to focus on infrastructure, which some of us believe he could have successfully done from day 1 – not health care. Yet he couldn't control himself at the Tuesday press conference, and blew it all up. Kelly threatened to resign afterwards, but Trump assured him he would get back on message at the Arizona rally and we all know how well that went.
Rogue Fox: Is it true that the President has been discussing contracts to protect confederate statues with Blackwater, the private security agency?
Strauss: You mean the mercenary security agency that helped Dick Cheney almost succeed at totally privatizing the military to during the invasion of Iraq ?
That wouldn't surprise me. It's amazing how much certain individuals care about tradition and patriotism when there are multi-billion dollar contracts available.
Rogue Fox: We have it on good authority that he has been, and that he is thinking of funding it out of one of his casino accounts? There is some evidence this is the one that Special Prosecutor Muller is investigating for Russian money.
Strauss: That I can confidently deny. There are many unsavory things this President might be capable of, but funding anything from his own pocket or potential personal revenue stream is absolutely not one of them.
Wolf: So that's it. An interesting press conference by Strauss. Any comments?
Anderson: Another week in the Trump White House and another set of firsts. An 11-year-old as Special Advisor to the President!!!! Its turning into a family affair at the White House.  I am reminded of the song from Sly and the Family Stone the 'Family Affair' and the verse:
"One child grows up to be
Somebody that just loves to learn yeah (Fred Jnr)
Another child grows up to be
Somebody we just love to burn (Donald)"
Gergan: Strauss is often voicing the views of the sensible brigade in the white house. You would have to assume that the generals are now trying to control the President. Senator Corker’s comment that “Trump hasn't demonstrated the stability or competence to be successful” should be considered as a shot across the bow from republicans.  as can Former Republican Senator John Danforth who  launched a stinging rebuke of President Donald Trump, describing him as “the most divisive president” in history and accusing him of “corrupting” the Republican Party. This was from Fridays Washington Post article he penned which he also said: “Our country needs a responsibly conservative party...But our party has been corrupted by this hateful man, and it is now in peril.”
They are clearly indicating that they are worried about the mental state of the President. Kelly is trying to get the information loop to the President to be controlled and then it will be easier to stop him doing crazy things.
Wolf: Is it not ironic that for American Democracy to survive we are relying on  a ring of generals to keep it alive?
Gergan: Ironic? I think the word I'd use is just "sad."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Blog Mike Barry: 5 things we learnt on Marks and Spencer Plan A journey over last 12 months

Rest in Peace Tania Valerie Raguz 'one of our own'

Interview Felix Dodds on Five Years of Nexus