Breitbart goes after Trump

The home page for Breitbart News featured several stories sharply critical of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE on Tuesday, just hours before the president is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Arizona expected to focus on the need for a wall on the border with Mexico.

Breitbart, which championed Trump’s rise through the GOP presidential primaries and has staunchly defended him through 214 turbulent days in office, is running news reports and editorials taking the president to task on everything from foreign policy to immigration.

The website’s critical bent is only a snapshot in time and could change in the wake of Trump’s planned rally with supporters in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the critical stories are of interest coming just days after Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, departed the White House to return to his executive leadership post at Breitbart.

Bannon’s dismissal led some at the right-wing news outlet to declare “war” against what they view as the establishment forces within the White House that they believe forced Bannon out and have corrupted the president’s commitment to “economic nationalism.”

Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam, who is one of the outlet’s rising stars and most visible faces, has the lead story at the site, which hammers Trump for punting on the issue of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

With a blaring headline, Kassam wonders whether the inaction is “Trump’s Merkel Moment,” a reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who many on the right say has instituted a policy of open borders that has led to nonassimilation by Muslim immigrants.

In the lead of that story, Kassam hammers away at White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today On The Money: White House, Dems edge closer to trade deal | GOP worries about Trump concessions | DOJ argues Congress can't sue Trump on emoluments | Former Fed chief Volcker dies White House, Democrats edge closer to deal on trade MORE, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpAuthor of Steele dossier had 'cordial' relationship with Ivanka Trump: report Medicare administrator asked for reimbursement for stolen jewelry, clothing: report Tech finds surprise ally in Trump amid high-stakes tax fight MORE and chief of staff John Kelly, who gave Bannon his walking papers.

“A new McClatchy report has revealed that current White House staffers including John Kelly, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner are pushing the President to continue with amnesty for illegal immigrants in exchange for border wall funding as well as curbs on illegal immigration and the online ‘E-Verify’ system,” Kassam writes. “If the president accedes, this may be his ‘Merkel moment.' "

“Amesty First!” blares a second headline with a picture of President Trump next to Kushner, Ivanka Trump, economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnGary Cohn says he's 'concerned' no one is left in White House to stand up to Trump Trump says US will hit China with new round of tariffs next month Gary Cohn bemoans 'dramatic impact' of Trump tariffs MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Breitbart White House reporter Charlie Spiering has a story about how the Department of Homeland Security has delayed border wall prototypes until the fall.

Earlier in the day, Breitbart reacted with fury to Trump’s Afghanistan address. The website cast Trump’s proposed troop surge as a capitulation to McMaster and the national security establishment.

“How Afghanistan could put Trump’s presidency at risk,” said one headline.

“Media Loves Trump Speech,” said another.

The lead story on Breitbart in the morning was about Trump’s “flip-flop” on Afghanistan.

Breitbart repeatedly has cast McMaster as the brains behind the Afghanistan strategy, with one report saying he had asked for 80,000 additional troops — orders of magnitude greater than the estimated 4,000 that has been reported.

One story warned that Trump’s Afghanistan speech “echoes previous speeches about McMaster.”

“His McMaster voice: Is Trump’s Afghanistan Policy That Different from Obama’s?” asks another.

It’s impossible to know whether the critical coverage is the direct work of Bannon or whether it will continue. Bannon has insisted that he wants the president to succeed, but he has also talked of the “end of the Trump presidency” at his dismissal.

Bannon’s name is peppered across the website, including with a promotional ad that pops up selling “fidget spinners” with his face on them.

One report called Bannon’s exit from the White House “a victory for China’s strategy of containing Trump.”

There is a story about a Columbia professor praising Bannon’s economic populism as superior to the left’s identify politics and another in which CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says Bannon would have been useful in keeping Trump from expanding the war in Afghanistan.