President Trump’s on-again, off-again, on-again adviser Steve Bannon has a somewhat nihilistic view of traditional D.C. figures, having expressed a desire to “blow up the administrative state.” He had even more colorful words for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), calling him “a limp-dick motherfucker who was born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation,” a new book reports.
Meow! That Cronenbergian image is provided in “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” a new book that chronicles how Bannon, the former chairman of ultra-conservative conspiracy theory machine Breitbart News, helped engineer Trump’s rise to the White House. The book’s author, Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green, has trailed Bannon through the Washington swamp for years.
Bannon’s poetic fit of pique against Ryan came in the spring of 2016, when rumors arose that Ryan would deny Trump the Republican party nomination by nabbing the top of the ticket during a contested convention.
“One fleetingly popular scenario to stop Trump from becoming the nominee was for GOP delegates to coalesce around a white-knight alternative at the party convention in July,” writes Green of Ryan, who had “emerged as the chattering-class favorite.”
That “sent Bannon into a panic of his own,” according to Green, leading him to spit out the insult in Breitbart’s D.C. newsroom. (Bannon is no fan of conservative think tanks such as Heritage, believing they cater to the “globalist donor class.”) He began “plotting an all-out war to stop Ryan, of whom he was both fearful and dismissive — sometimes within the same sentence.”
Bannon joined Trump’s campaign in late summer, and the rest is history, with plenty of colorful anecdotes. Among them: Bannon referred to then Fox News host Megyn Kelly as “pure evil” after she confronted Trump about his behavior toward women during a Republican primary debate; and that Trump confronted then campaign chairman Paul Manafort about a negative New York Times article by asking him, “Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a f—— baby, Paul?”