President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon posed for a photo op yesterday with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in his infamous war room inside the White House. Giving a slight glimpse into how the White House is run behind the scenes, Bannon’s white board can be viewed in the background of the picture.
Containing many ambitious goals pertaining to immigration in partial view, the white board makes it clear that border security is the focal point of Bannon’s work. Immigration pledges include tripling the number of ICE enforcement agents, suspending the Syrian refugee resettlement program, ending the controversial ‘catch-and-release’ policy, and hiring 5,000 more border patrol agents. Tasks that have been achieved were checkmarked while other promises have yet to be fulfilled.
There are more pledges that were obfuscated from view in the picture, including an entire section related to health care that was barely visible in the shot. Reports regarding Bannon’s influence on President Trump have conflicted in recent weeks. It was believed that Bannon was the dog house after a public spat with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, but Trump came out with a public vote of confidence of his top strategist this week.
Although Bannon’s hot temper has led him to criticize libertarians and conservatives, they still ought to hope that Bannon remains a mainstay of the Trump White House considering the other interests that have the President’s ear. Liberal interests inside the administration such as Kushner and former Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn are dedicated to pushing Trump toward the left. Their plans seem to be working, if Trump’s recent series of flip-flops are a reliable indicator.
Just a little over 100 days into Trump’s presidency, Bannon is perhaps the only anchor left in the Trump White House keeping the focus on the “America First” mandate that won Trump the office.