The real estate mogul’s architect: Bannon’s influence swells

Washington (CNN)To outsiders looking in, President Donald Trump’s decision to give his chief strategist Steve Bannon a permanent seat with the National Security Council’s most senior officials marked the startling elevation of a political adviser to a policy-making role.

But for Trump administration insiders, Bannon’s appointment was little more than a natural evolution of his status as one of the President’s most trusted and influential advisers.
That’s because Bannon’s role has long eclipsed that of traditional political strategist, with the former head of the right-wing Breitbart News site quickly taking custody of Trump’s political and policy agendas not just as tactician, but as one of its chief architects.
    That role will now officially extend to crafting the Trump foreign policy, placing a firebrand who has repeatedly targeted the Republican establishment and called for a radical reshaping of the US’ role in the world in a prime position to reshape the current world order — not just for the term of Trump’s presidency, but for decades to come.


    The death knell to TPP last week was little more than a warning shot signaling to the world that Trump was serious about following through on the protectionist rhetoric that helped him win the presidency and Bannon, who has often cited his blue-collar roots, is gearing up to help craft those policies in line with his goals of shaping a movement that continues to draw the union workers who flocked to Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and can outlast Trump’s presidency.
    And he is taking his most outsized role in the administration’s foreign policy by helping to drive discussions on US-China policy. Privately, he has pushed to implement the border tariff Trump threatened during the campaign and invited comparisons between Trump’s populist inaugural address with its “America First” proclamation and the Chinese President’s defense of globalization just days earlier.
    While Bannon has no significant foreign policy experience that would earn him a seat on the National Security Council, he is a former US naval officer who worked on the Naval Operations staff at the Pentagon and the former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager is well-versed in economic issues and global trendlines.
    Miller, the former Trump spokesman, argued Bannon is “one of the leading national experts on this global trend of economic populism and economic nationalism we’re seeing all across the entire world.”
    “Issues of economic geopolitical stability are national security issues also,” Miller said.

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