Apparently concerned that his tweets proclaiming himself to be a “very stable genius” did not convince the American people of this fact, on Sunday President Trump dispatched senior White House adviser Stephen Miller to repeatedly shout this point on CNN. At several points during the deeply bizarre interview, Jake Tapper accused Miller of hamming it up to please Trump, who was presumably tuning in to his least favorite TV network.
“There’s one viewer you care about right now, and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him,” Tapper said, ending the interview as Miller tried to shout over him. “I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”
Trump seemed to confirm Tapper’s theory by quickly tweeting his praise for Miller, but perhaps the performance wasn’t solely for the president’s benefit. According to Business Insider, Miller remained so agitated that eventually CNN had him escorted out of the studio:
White House adviser Stephen Miller was escorted off the set of CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday after a contentious interview with host Jake Tapper.
Two sources close to the situation told Business Insider that after the taping was done, Miller was asked to leave several times.
He ignored those requests and ultimately security was called and he was escorted out, the sources said.
Arden Farhi, a producer with CBS News, backed up this report:
As Tapper alluded to in the interview, Miller was once seen as Steve Bannon’s ally in promoting a nationalist agenda, but as the White House strategist’s star fell, he aligned himself with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. According to the Washington Post, in the fallout from the publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, White House aides have made it clear that all Trump allies must pick a side: the president’s, or Bannon’s.
Bannon issued an apology over the weekend, but it did nothing to improve the situation. Trump’s friend and Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy dismissed the mea culpa, saying it had “nothing to do with repairing the relationship with Trump,” and everything to do with “repairing his relationship with Trump supporters who read Breitbart and big donors he depends on” (primarily, the Mercer family).
The Post reported that Bannon knows his political future looks grim:
He has tried to convince allies in recent days that all will be fine — even texting one “onward!” — but he seems jolted and “even more manic than normal,” in the words of one person who spoke to him. He has remained ensconced in his Capitol Hill townhouse, with a rope on the steps blocking people from approaching. “STOP!” a large red sign reads, urging visitors to check in downstairs.
“He knows he is at his lowest point,” said one associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “He won’t tell you that, but he knows it.”
But one Bannon ally told Politico that there’s a silver lining: “You’ll see a more serious Bannon come out of this.”
Finally, we may see a more serious side of the guy portrayed as the grim reaper on Saturday Night Live.