Well, this is strange.
We should all be well-aware, by now, that Steve Bannon is a squirrely little tumor. We should also be aware that whatever his loyalties, they’re always to Bannon first.
A new report from the Daily Beast goes into the curious details of Bannon strategizing with billionaire Mark Cuban – an outspoken critic of Donald Trump – about a potential presidential run in 2020.
Cuban hasn’t denied that there has been contact between himself and the former White House chief strategist.
He downplayed the interactions in an email exchange with The Daily Beast, saying merely that he “texted with him a few time[s]” and that none, he believed, had “been more than one full sentence.” But according to four sources familiar with their conversations, the two have been in touch for months about a possible 2020 bid. Bannon, these sources say, has encouraged Cuban to run and to consider doing so as a Democrat, seeing it as a realistic path to a viable presidential run.
If true, you have to wonder what the end game is for Bannon.
“They talk regularly,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser who is close to Bannon. “They’re very similar. They have a lot of synergy there. Even when [Steve] went to work for Trump, Mark would be interviewed and say nice things about Steve.”
Cuban brought up the issue of running on Thursday night at a New York event.
At that time, he said that if he considered a run, it would be as an Independent.
For Bannon, the question is why President Donald Trump’s one-time top political consigliere would encourage a challenge to his former boss—assuming, that is, that Trump opts to run for a second term. Trump declared his re-election candidacy mere hours after he was inaugurated. But Bannon has reportedly expressed doubts that Trump will stick around for another four years, according to a Vanity Fair report last month.
Just two weeks after Trump’s win last year, Cuban and Bannon were spotted sitting down together at the King Cole Bar in New York City’s St. Regis Hotel. Cuban would not go into details about what the two discussed then.
Bannon, what are you up to, you little monkey?
So is it just Bannon?
In fact, Bannon isn’t even the Trump-world figure who Cuban is closest to. That honor goes to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. As TMZ reported on Thursday, Cuban gave advice to Cohen, a longtime buddy, on how to handle things pertaining to ongoing Trump-Russia investigations. Cuban said he met Cohen for breakfast to help “calm him down and talk him off the roof.”
What’s more, Breitbart has, for most part, left Cuban alone. That’s a luxury that most Trump antagonists are not afforded.
It may be that Bannon truly doubts Trump will run for reelection, and he’s looking for his next coattail to ride.
“I think he has a lot of potential for 2020, assuming that the president doesn’t run for re-election,” Nunberg said, saying that Cuban could win the Republican nomination, if Trump is out of the picture. “The way I thought of Trump, people laughed at me… The RNC people laughed at me. Mark has something. I don’t know what it is, but he has something… Trump’s a star, Mark’s a star.”
And that’s pretty much all anybody is looking for in a candidate these days, isn’t it?