Bannonism lives on in the White House

Steve Bannon Image copyright Getty Images

Steve Bannon may be out as a senior White House adviser, but Bannonism - if that's what it can properly be called - is still firmly entrenched in the White House.

Donald Trump, in a series of tweets on Thursday, bashed his Republican opponents and the media and defended Confederate Civil War monuments - the cause for which white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched last weekend.

The president appears to be forcing exactly the kind of fight with progressive groups that Mr Bannon, in an interview with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder of the progressive liberal magazine The American Prospect, said he welcomed.

Perhaps Bannon could hear the executioner sharpening his axe - but he was remarkably candid.

"The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," Mr Bannon said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

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A White House meltdown in the making

Trump in car Image copyright Getty Images

At some point during the campaign last year, most Republicans came to the conclusion that Donald Trump was like nuclear energy. His was a force that, if properly harnessed, could power their party for a generation.

And so the party embraced Mr Trump. Republican functionaries like Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer joined the White House team. The nuclear dragon would be tamed.

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Why Trump's reactions to N Korea and Charlottesville are no surprise

US President Donald Trump during a security briefing at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey on 10 August 2017 Image copyright AFP

In North Korea and Charlottesville Donald Trump faces the first pivotal tests of his presidency. His responses have been telling but, for those who watched him on the campaign trail, they shouldn't be surprising.

For the first six-plus months as president, the challenges Mr Trump has confronted have been largely of his own making.

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Trump turns on Republican leadership

Donald Trump talks while Mitch McConnell looks on. Image copyright Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions can take a deep breath. Donald Trump has found a new punching bag among Republican ranks - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In a series of tweets and comments over the past week the president has lashed out against the top-ranking Republican in the Senate, whose attempts to shepherd legislation to repeal and replace Obama-era healthcare reforms through his chamber spectacularly failed two weeks ago.

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Donald Trump's nuclear fixation - from the 1980s to now

Protesters outside the White House call for a de-escalation in tensions Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protesters outside the White House call for a de-escalation in tensions

Donald Trump's warning that North Korea could face "fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen" has been widely interpreted as a threat backed by the destructive power of the US nuclear arsenal.

In case that message wasn't clear, the following morning the president boasted that US nuclear weapons were "far stronger and more powerful than ever before".

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As Trump plays golf, trouble brews

Donald Trump on the golf course. Image copyright Getty Images

On Friday Donald Trump jetted off to his resort golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for a 17-day vacation.

The White House has been quick to note that this is a "working" vacation. The president won't be leaving the duties of office totally behind.

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What Trump really meant in those phone calls

Trump with Flynn and Bannon Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Trump calls Turnbull but the conversation doesn't go well

Deconstructing a Donald Trump verbatim transcript has become the hottest new pastime in Washington, DC.

Just days after being treated to a veritable treasure trove of strange presidential assertions and non sequiturs in a previously unreleased Wall Street Journal interview, the public has been offered a blast from the (recent) past in leaked records of Mr Trump's phone conversations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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Where Trump went wrong on healthcare

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Media caption'We have to blame Republican leadership'

Hollywood script-writers couldn't have staged it any better.

At roughly 1:30 on Friday morning, John McCain approached the dais on the floor of the Senate. Votes on the latest Republican healthcare reform plan had mostly been recorded, and it was clear that the Arizona senator would be the difference between success and failure.

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Is Trump courting disaster with Sessions feud?

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Donald Trump apparently subscribes to the Bill Lumbergh school of management.

In the film Office Space, Lumbergh was the obnoxious boss who, rather than fire a troublesome employee, made life increasingly uncomfortable for him in the hopes that he would quit on his own.

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Why did Putin talk to Trump about 'adoption'?

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017 Image copyright Reuters

Buried in the middle of the wide-ranging interview Donald Trump granted the New York Times on Wednesday was an interesting tidbit. What, exactly, did the US president and Vladimir Putin discuss when they exchanged "pleasantries" during a dinner at the recently concluded G20 summit?

The subject, Mr Trump said, was "adoption".

Read full article Why did Putin talk to Trump about 'adoption'?