Bannon's bad for business: Donald Trump's kids want his adviser gone because he's hurting the Trump Organization's image

Trump's heirs reportedly want Steve Bannon gone because it will hurt their inheritance

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published April 13, 2017 1:10PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It appears there are business reasons as well as political ones behind chief strategist Steve Bannon's fall from grace in the administration of President Donald Trump.

A big reason why Trump's three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka — have joined son-in-law Jared Kushner in pushing for Bannon's ouster is that they are displeased with how the failures of Trump's early weeks have affected the family brand, according to a report by The Washington Post. Even as the Trump sons travel the world to expand the Trump business empire at taxpayer expense, they find themselves worrying that the Trump name is losing its luster — and with it, their ability to build more hotels and engage in other potentially lucrative real estate ventures.

This could at least in part explain why Trump publicly humiliated Bannon in a recent New York Post interview. Bannon is now struggling to keep not only his influence in the Trump administration but even his job, according to The Washington Post. As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who is a close adviser to Trump) told the paper, "Bannon is a brilliant pirate who has had a huge impact. But White Houses, in the end, are like the U.S. Navy — corporate structures and very hard on pirates."

The impetus behind Bannon's waning influence is his ongoing feud with Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner. Joined by Kushner's wife Ivanka, economic adviser Gary Cohn and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, the four represent an attempt to push the Trump administration's more toward the center, according to a report by Politico. By contrast, Bannon is a staunchly populist and nationalist figure, beloved by the alt-right and pushing for far-right policies and someone who has been blamed for Trump's ongoing political woes by the Kushner-led centrist faction.

Trump's desire to distance himself from Bannon has even prompted him to tell demonstrable falsehoods. Although Trump recently claimed to Post that he didn't known Bannon until late in the 2016 presidential election, Trump had actually been acquainted with Bannon since at least 2011, when Trump considered a 2012 presidential campaign, according to a report by The New York Times. In 2015 Bannon felt comfortable referring to himself as a hidden campaign manager for Trump, and in August 2016 Trump said that he had "known Steve and Kellyanne [Conway] both for many years." (A key player in his campaign, Conway is now a counselor to the president.)

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By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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