Here's the thing. Bannon got demoted earlier this month. He's no longer in Trump's innermost circle.
Establishment media, which always hated the conservative populist, is understandably emboldened. They think he might go the way of Mike Flynn and be thrown out completely.
To help things along they're more than willing to do what they do best; concoct bizarre theories tying the target to Vladimir Saddamovich Putin.
Heck, they might be silly but they seemed to work in getting Flynn replaced and Trump neutered.
Oh yeah, there appears to be a slight problem in that as far as Russian moles go Bannon has been a pretty terrible one:
Bannon apparently made no move to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed after the annexation of Crimea in 2014—or to lift a U.S. travel ban on Dugin, imposed after his vocal support for Moscow taking over not just Crimea but all of Ukraine.But hey not to fear, the brave MSM footsoldiers, in this case Newsweek, has a solution — thought crime:
But Bannon's ties to Russia are ideological—and therefore, arguably, they've had a more profound impact on White House policy with Moscow.What are these "ideological ties" that bind Bannon to the Kremlin? He has praised not only Putin but also his "state ideology", Eurasianism:
Bannon, a former banker turned film producer and right-wing polemicist, has praised not only Putin but also a brand of Russian mystical conservative nationalism known as Eurasianism, which is the closest the Kremlin has to a state ideology.This is a long-standing meme in the western press but actually Eurasianism is the farthest thing from an official ideology in Russia. Its main proponent, Aleksandr Dugin, was even booted from the Moscow University where he worked as a professor. (Albeit as a Rasputin look-alike he certainly looks like an American's idea of a Russian state ideologue.)
Newsweek continues weaving its story of unlikely ideological kinship:
Yet Bannon and Dugin have common cause in the idea that global elites have conspired against ordinary people—and the old order must be overthrown. "We have arrived at a moment where the world is discovering a new model of ideologies. The election of Trump shows that clearly," Dugin tells Newsweek.Except here is the thing, all of this is from a speech Bannon gave in 2014 in which he characterized Putin as a kleptocrat and an imperialist:
Bannon, in turn, seems to admire Dugin—as well as Putin's Russia—for putting traditional values at the heart of a revival of national greatness.
"We, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what [Putin] is talking about as far as traditionalism goes, particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism," Bannon said at a Vatican-organized conference in 2014.
"When you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of [Putin's] beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism." Bannon declined to respond to Newsweek's questions about his position on Russia and Dugin.
You know, Putin's been quite an interesting character. He's also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he's playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it's something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand.Bannon doesn't admire Putin. Bannon thinks Putin's brilliance in being able to opportunistically play to social conservatives is a threat. He is cautioning conservatives from getting their anti-globalism from the "imperialist" and "kleptocrat" Putin.
But Newsweek read that and told you about Bannon's "ideological ties" to Kremlin. The state of your mainstream media today.
America will you please take responsibility for your nationalists? Bannon is your doing, not Moscow's.