Is Trump consigliere Steve Bannon plotting a double-cross of the president?
That was certainly the implication of a curious report which emerged Friday that said Bannon was talking with frequent Trump critic Mark Cuban about a 2020 run for the White House — as a Democrat!
“According to four sources familiar with their conversations, the two have been in touch for months about a possible 2020 bid,” the Daily Beast reported Friday. “These sources say, has encouraged Cuban to run and to consider doing so as a Democrat, seeing it as a realistic path to a viable presidential run.”
While Trump has left no daylight in his public statements about whether he would seek a second term (the answer is a resounding yes), Bannon has mused publicly that might not be the case. While the Breitbart chief is nominally a Republican, his positions are fluid and in recent months he has trained his critical fire less on Democrats and more on establishment GOP members of Congress.
During an interview with New York Times’ reporter Jeremy Peters, which was published Friday, Bannon said one of his major objectives since leaving the White House is ousting Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican leader.
Cuban, for his part, has often publicly flirted with the idea of a run in 2020 and has made something of a name for himself taunting President Trump on Twitter. The two have had an on-again/off-again friendship on the platform for years.
I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls.He’s not smart enough to run for president!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2017
How soon they forget …. pic.twitter.com/VXcfnjj4qX
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 12, 2017