From The Hill:
In President Trump’s White House, it’s better to not be seen or heard — at least in public.
A cadre of Trump’s top aides from New York City — economic adviser Gary Cohn, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and Trump family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — appear to be gaining influence even as they’ve kept low profiles in the media.
Meanwhile, Trump’s longtime loyalists and some of the best known names in the media — chief strategist Stephen Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller, counselor Kellyanne Conway and chief of staff Reince Priebus — have been sidelined, chastised or seen their policy influence diminish as they became fixtures in the press.
Have you noticed how Conway and Priebus are MIA? Someone might want to fill out a Missing Persons report.
Trump’s allies say there are two rules the president has for those who work for him. Unless you’re a paid spokesperson, you should only engage with the press to promote Trump’s agenda. And don’t ever forget that Trump is the main attraction.
“The only media strategy that exists is one aimed at making the president look better,” said one former transition official. “You don’t ever want to become bigger than the star.”…
“Some of these folks are learning first hand about how Trump operated in the private sector,” said one GOP operative with close ties to the White House. “He wouldn’t hesitate to take not-so-subtle shots at those he sees as rising too fast around him, which is something you’d know if you’ve been reading the New York tabloids for the last 20 or 25 years.”
If that is a true sentiment in the WH, that is f**king whacked and f**king lame.
The Cohn-Kushner cabal’s media silence plays very much like the stereotype of the hidden, ‘behind the scenes’, actors who influence events:
The members of the rising Cohn-Kushner wing rarely give public interviews and have so far avoided creating the kind of significant controversy that Bannon and his allies regularly run into.
Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has kept his public appearances geared toward economic policy discussions on lower-profile networks, like Fox Business or Bloomberg TV.
Powell has kept a similarly low profile since joining the White House.
Kushner, meanwhile, continues to eschew the spotlight in his role as Trump’s senior adviser, as he did during the campaign. Wife Ivanka Trump, who recently accepted an unpaid position as assistant to the president, largely avoids politics in public appearances in controlled environments.
I had to chuckle at this passage:
Conservatives are now fearful that Cohn — a former Democrat — and his allies in the White House are behind Trump’s rapid move away from the national populism of Bannon and Miller on issues like NATO, intervention in the Middle East, Chinese trade policy and the Export-Import Bank.
Still, there is plenty of time for the power dynamics to shift in a White House that seems in perpetual flux.
“If Cohn and Powell get a magazine cover declaring that they’re the deciders and the forces behind Trump, they’ll be in just as much trouble,” O’Brien said. “You absolutely do not want to be seen as the occupier or the force behind the throne.”
Can we expect to see, then, Time magazine putting Kushner on the cover with the headline “The Great Manipulator 2.0”?
Why? The MSM is happy to see Bannon get the boot, and will gladly accept Kushner as, in their view, the lesser of two evils.
Lastly, it appears the strategic leaks against Bannon are the handiwork of Dina Powell:
“Reporters were the first to start telling me 3 weeks ago that Bannon was starting to regularly trash Jared to anyone who would listen,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a frequent critic of Bannon and Miller, tweeted Wednesday. “So I did my job, talked to a lot of people on the inside and got the complete story early. Today’s headlines suggest those multiple sources were right.”
Bannon’s allies have fired back, pointing fingers at Powell, the deputy national security adviser, as the source of leaks meant to diminish Bannon. Via Twitter, Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam asked Scarborough how often he and co-host Mika Brzezinski exchange text messages with Powell.
“The reality is Powell is their guiding operative,” Kassam tweeted…
And, to some degree, Cohn and Kushner:
Two [Bannon] allies blamed Bannon’s West Wing foes Cohn and Kushner for planting stories meant to play up his influence, knowing that the image-conscious Trump would resent Bannon for it.
Methinx that if Bannon gets fired, BNN stories on Kushner will suddenly start appearing. This leads me to also think Bannon is using his muscle to squelch anti-Kushner stories on BNN as a negotiating tactic, in order to keep himself employed at the WH.