During the primaries and the run up to the election, Steve Bannon’s version of Breitbart “News” was Trump central, doling out all the propaganda that was unfit to print.
The site was full of unhinged, kamikaze raids on conservatives in the race, but gave breathless, worshipful deference to Trump.
Yeah, you waded into that alt-right, Nationalist cesspool at your peril.
When Bannon was pulled to be Trump’s strategist through the last stages of his campaign, and then later was given a cabinet position, nobody was overly shocked.
Disgusted, but not shocked.
When Breitbart was given access to the White House press pool, while Trump slammed legitimate media, it was other-worldly, but again, expected. He was paying back his loyal campaign minions. They had acted as his little stormtroopers, helping amass the Trumpidian faithful in his march against conservatism, so this was their bone.
Apparently, amid suspicions that Bannon’s position in the administration may be giving them an unfair advantage, the Capitol Hill standing committee, who determine who gets permanent press credentials, have determined that Breitbart will not have permanent or official access to the White House press gallery.
They’ve been able to obtain daily, temporary access, but repeated attempts to be made a fixture in the gallery have been rebuffed.
Latest docs Breitbart has submitted to the committee for Capitol Hill permanent press credentials. They were again denied this a.m. pic.twitter.com/RjhcUWgtRh
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) April 25, 2017
According to the Washington Examiner:
The committee voted Tuesday morning in favor of “tabling the application and discontinuing temporary credentials without any extension,” according to the Daily Beast.
Add to that another report of an invitation to some conservative reporters, which included Breitbart, to hob-knob with White House officials on Monday night, that turned into something less than they’d hoped for, and it’s almost like grinding salt into the wound:
Representatives from Newsmax, Breitbart, Townhall, The Daily Caller and radio voices like Larry O’Connor and John Fredericks mingled with White House press secretary Sean Spicer, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus and the White House communications team.
Reporters were asked to surrender their cellphones before entering the Roosevelt Room, a meeting room in the West Wing across from the Oval Office. Their phones were stored in lockers outside the room.
One source said White House director of media affairs Helen Aguirre Ferre explained that phones had to be kept out because the Roosevelt Room is a SCIF, or a sensitive compartmented information facility, where officials view classified information.
After the briefing with the president, reporters were told that the conversation had actually been on the record and that they were free to attribute quotes to Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who was also in attendance.
They didn’t have their phones or any way to record what was said, so of course, they fell all over themselves, in a scene that I’m sure resembled something from the Keystone Cops, trying to get to their phones and record from memory the comments heard in the briefing.
I’m sure it was quite entertaining for somebody.
How this slow backing away from the core that elevated Trump to the White House ultimately plays out remains to be seen.
I can’t imagine an automatic turning on Trump from his base, but somewhere, somehow, I can absolutely feel this grating, gnawing sense of betrayal, as they watch the fruit of their labors taken away and given to somebody else.