Steve Bannon’s disappearing act

Bannon, chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile, having chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague…

But he now plays a surprisingly minor role in key administration policy debates. White House aides speculate about whether Bannon is trying to protect his job amidst long-running talk of a White House staff purge. Several West Wing advisers said they expect Trump to decide once and for all on a White House shakeup during his planned vacation next month, when he is expected to consult with friends beyond the Beltway. “If there is a big staff shakeup, it will be in August,” said a senior White House aide. “My guess is that Bannon probably sees that and doesn’t want to be in the press.”…

But no one threatens Bannon’s job security more than the man whose winning campaign he managed, particularly now that Bannon is back in the headlines thanks to the publication this week of Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s book, “The Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” which depicts Bannon as a driving force behind Trump’s campaign and the early stages of his administration.

The president is “livid” about the book, according to the Washington-based insider, who said that he is “back to giving Bannon the cold shoulder” as a result.