Shortly after the New York Times announced President Donald Trump's chief strategist was soon to be departing the White House, reporter Gabriel Sherman tweeted that sources close to Steve Bannon claimed he'd be returning to Breitbart, the online far-right news outlet he'd helped start. According to Sherman's source, in the wake of Bannon's supposed termination Brietbart was "ramping up for war against Trump." Hence, the big question: What does Steve Bannon know about Trump that could fuel Breitbart's potential "war" against the president?
Although Breitbart News has long been one of Trump's loudest and most reliable cheerleaders, the president may reportedly soon find himself a target of the far-right website. Shortly after Bannon's ousting was announced, Breitbart's senior-editor-at-large Joel Pollak tweeted simply, "#WAR."
A longtime Trump loyalist credited with being the architect of Trump's successful 2016 campaign, Bannon was one of the first people Trump hired to aide him in the White House. And although Bannon may have recently fallen out of favor, he's believed to have long had the president's ear. You might say that Bannon knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak. But will he take the intel he has on Trump back to Breitbart?
According to CNNMoney, a source close to Bannon warned the outgoing chief strategist had no plans to depart quietly from the White House. "It will be Bannon the barbarian," CNNMoney reported the source said. "He's not going to go out peacefully." CNNMoney also claimed Breitbart had already begun prepping pieces that cast a critical light on members of the Trump administration:
Following news of Bannon's exit, Breitbart started to prepare stories critical of people in the Trump White House, a person at the website told CNN. It's most likely the site will not -- for now at least -- directly attack the President, but will focus its fire on people in Trump's circle who had clashed with Bannon, or who are viewed as Democrats or "globalists."
Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, recently described Bannon as "deeply vengeful and supremely ambitious." He argued that Bannon can be more powerful outside the White House than he ever was inside. According to Shapiro, Bannon has likely already begun drawing "the lines for battle" via his recent interview with The American Prospect and by positioning himself as a representative of Trump's far-right base.
Although Breitbart editors are tweeting declarations of "war," it's unclear how loose lipped Bannon might be now that his political career is effectively over. According to Politico, there were some in the White House who suspected Bannon was "one of the White House's most aggressive leakers," using the media "to spread damaging information" about those he viewed to be his opponents. But only time will tell if Bannon will continue to use the media, and specifically Breitbart, in an attempt to cut down or attack Trump.
Jenny Hollander contributed to this report