Breitbart News has a target in its crosshairs following the departure of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn from the White House in a cascade of scandal over his contacts with the Russian government: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Targeting Priebus, who leads the faction of Trump aides that is composed of experienced establishment political hands, is really just a stand-in for a larger conflict about the future of Trumpism in the White House. Breitbart News is treating Flynn’s ouster as the first salvo in a war against those in the administration they deem insufficiently loyal to Trump. Backing up Breitbart are legions of other Trump loyalists in the right-wing media sphere. And their angry reaction to Flynn’s exit signals the unpopularity of the move with a vocal segment of Trump’s base.
Trump loyalists — meaning the true believers who supported Trump from the start, not Republican politicos who became attached later on — have been privately musing about getting rid of Priebus. Now, that musing is going public. “I think this is Pearl Harbor for the true Trump supporters, the Trump loyalists,” said Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser and longtime Republican operative who still has a relationship with Trump. “I believe Reince Priebus moved on General Flynn and I think he intends to move on Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller next. He is not serving the president well. The people he hired are loyal to the Republican National Committee, not the President of the United States.”