To understand just how fractious and ungainly the Trump coalition truly is, look no further than his administration. You'll find establishment Republicans (White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry), former Tea Party insurgents (CIA director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke), Wall Street players (Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn) and, for the time being, clash-of-civilization ethno-nationalists (deputy assistant to the president Seb Gorka), not a few of whom seem to be working at cross purposes.
For the first few months of Donald Trump's presidency, this unholy confederacy has largely kept in formation. But in the wake of Trump's recent Tomahawk strike on a Syrian air field, it has begun to splinter, with the president drawing the ire of some of his most loyal troops: the Pepe brigade known as the "alt-right." Now that he has all but banished former Breitbart chair Steve Bannon from the West Wing, Trump could soon be facing a full-fledged mutiny. Even his neo-fascist admirers in Europe have begun to question his commitment to the nationalist agenda on which he campaigned. (That a loose collection of white supremacists and far-right extremists, however vile its motives, has shown a more unified opposition to military intervention than the Democratic Party is another post for another day).
The political benefits of Trump's policy reversal seem dubious at best. It's unlikely that he'll gain the respect and acceptance of the establishment he so desperately seeks, despite all protestations to the contrary. And by alienating his most vocal supporters, many of whom have disseminated his message through their right-wing channels, he has left himself even more vulnerable to the corporate media's attacks.
Here are nine Trump diehards who appear to have turned on their beloved president and political ally. One might even hazard to call them "cucks."
1. Richard Spencer
The self-proclaimed founder of the alt-right movement, Spencer is the president of the National Policy Institute, a think tank devoted to "peaceful ethnic cleansing." As recently as November of 2016, Spencer led a conference of more than 200 attendees in a cheer of "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" while delivering a Nazi salute.
Spencer was quick to condemn the missile strikes on Syria, calling for Bannon's resignation and likening Trump's presidency to a third term of George W. Bush. The white nationalist, or identitarian as he prefers to be known, even intimated he'd throw his support behind Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, in 2020.
Tulsi Gabbard 2020 #Trumped
— Richard 🇸🇾 Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) April 7, 2017
2. Mike Cernovich
While he denies any formal ties to the alt-right, this purveyor of deranged conspiracy theories and dubious vitamin supplements has been one of Trump's most vocal and vitriolic supporters on social media. Just last week, he earned the praise of Donald Trump Jr. for "breaking" the Susan Rice story, a fallacious scandal involving Obama's former national security adviser that has gone precisely nowhere. Shortly after the airstrikes, the attorney with a "gorilla mindset" took to Twitter to express his disgust.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) April 7, 2017
3. Milo Yiannopoulos
Yiannopoulos has mercifully retreated from the public eye after a video surfaced of him saying pedophilia was a rite of passage for gay men, but prior to that he was Breitbart's most recognizable personality. He has staged all manner of tedious stunts to express his support for Trump, including bathing in pig's blood, and refers to the 45th president as "daddy."
Trump's about-face on Syria appears to have sent the would-be author into a Freudian tailspin.
4. Paul Joseph Watson
Along with fellow InfoWars host Alex Jones, Watson has spent much of the past year and a half crowing about the globalists in our midst, at least when he's not daring journalists to visit the mean streets of Malmo. (In February, he suggested the small Swedish city had been overrun with violent immigrants.) Watson's journey on the Trump train appears to have come to an abrupt end:
I guess Trump wasn't "Putin's puppet" after all, he was just another deep state/Neo-Con puppet. I'm officially OFF the Trump train. — Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 7, 2017
It's been fun lads, but the fun is over. I'll be focusing my efforts on Le Pen, who tried to warn Trump against this disaster.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 7, 2017
5. Ann Coulter
The conservative radio host and political commentator has been a mouthpiece for right-wing reactionaries before 4chan was a glint in the reddit alien's eye. Her racist screeds are legion — she's made a lucrative career of trolling — but lowlights of recent vintage include arguments that Mexicans are "culturally deficient" and that soccer's growing popularity in the States is a product of our moral decay. Earlier this year, she appeared to offer a bizarre half-nod to neo-Nazis on Twitter. Coulter has been one of Trump's staunchest defenders — she actually published a book with the title "In Trump We Trust" — but even she has been rattled by his interventionist turn:
Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast. Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
6. Steve King
Last year, the Iowa Congressman argued that white people have "contributed more to civilization" than any other racial "subgroup." Just last month, he defended Holland's far-right presidential candidate Geert Wilders, tweeting "Widers understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore civilization with someone else's babies." In a related story, he was one of Donald Trump's most faithful supporters in Congress throughout the 2016 Republican primary and presidential election.
King has grown increasingly disheartened about Steve Bannon's marginalization in the Trump administration. "A lot of us look at [him] as the voice of conservatism in the White House," he told Politico.
7. & 8. Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen
Farage is one of the architects of Brexit and a member of Britain's far-right U.K. Independence Party. Le Pen is the leader of France's extremist National Front and quite possibly her country's next president. Both have lavished praise on Trump (Farage adoringly called him a "silverback gorilla" after the second presidential debate). And both have criticized his military action in Syria.
"I think a lot of Trump voters will be scratching their heads hard and asking, 'Where does this go from here?'" Farage told British radio host Nick Ferrari. "It plays absolutely into the ISIS narrative. I'm really pretty worried about this."
9. Steve Bannon
It's premature to include Trump's chief strategist on this list; Bannon is still a member of the inner circle, and reports indicate that he's "laying low" so as not to further alienate the president. Yet those same reports seem to suggest that Bannon has grown as disenchanted with Trump as Trump has with Bannon.
According to the Daily Beast, the one-time Breitbart chair calls Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a "cuck" and a "globalist" behind his back. Axios published a separate story Wednesday that revealed Bannon's allies, if not the man himself, are similarly disdainful of Gary Cohn, who they refer to simply as "Globalist Gary."