Steve Bannon: Tucker Carlson Is Trump’s Most Influential National-Security Adviser

Lloyd Grove
REUTERS

No wonder Donald Trump’s third national security adviser John Bolton, along with several four-star generals and distinguished career diplomats, fled the administration with their tails between their legs.

“If you don’t think Tucker Carlson has more influence on national security policy than many of the guys on the National Security Council, you’re wrong,” Stephen K. Bannon declared Wednesday tonight to a small group of wealthy Manhattan elites in a baronial Fifth Avenue apartment.

Thus, at a meeting of the Common Good lecture series in the modern art-festooned living room of New York plutocrat Richard Cohen, the president’s exiled former chief strategist revealed that America’s global interests are being guided by a Fox News host, a favorite of white nationalists, who recently proclaimed on his primetime show that he “roots for” Russia and Vladimir Putin over the Russia-occupied fledgling democracy of Ukraine.

“President Trump processes information” differently than his predecessors, Bannon said by way of explaining the strange attraction of a preppy polemicist and inveterate smartass with zero foreign-policy experience. “He understands the concept that mass communication is going to overwhelm kind of what reality is, right?”

Bannon went on: “So he gets—like chairmen and CEOs here—that not every person is briefed the same way. He’s not gonna sit through the 500-page McKinsey [report]. He’s not gonna sit there with Mayor Pete walking him through his McKinsey analysis, right? He gets his information in different ways. And he does get a lot of information from television.”

Bannon, who admitted his relationship with Trump is far from warm—“We’re not friends,” he said—claimed, among other predictions,  that the impeached 45th president will be re-elected next November with 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. He called himself a Trump admirer, even though “I hated being in the White House every second of every day.”

But Bannon largely succeeded in what he seemed to believe was his main goal at Wednesday’s event: upsetting his audience. “His second term,” he said about Trump, “is going to be even more transformative than his first.”

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