Steve Bannon Contradicts Pence, Warns Germany To Prepare For ‘Hostility Towards The EU’
While VP Mike Pence Was Assuring Our Allies That They Would Continue To Enjoy American Support, Steve Bannon Was Sending Contradictory Messages to European Contacts
Vice President Mike Pence had the unenviable task of alleviating the fears of European allies given President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about NATO and the “Brexit“. By most accounts, Pence assured our traditional allies on both counts that the United States remained committed to upholding our long-term arrangements. Yet according to an exclusive report from Reuters, there were forces working behind Pence’s back. And the message being sent from Washington was quite different as Special Adviser Steve Bannon reached out to a contact in Germany.
In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America’s “steadfast and enduring” commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.
Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany’s ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favored conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.
The encounter unsettled people in the German government, in part because some officials had been holding out hope that Bannon might temper his views once in government and offer a more nuanced message on Europe in private.
One source briefed on the meeting said it had confirmed the view that Germany and its European partners must prepare for a policy of “hostility towards the EU”.
For Pence, this shines more light on the growing narrative that he’s not heavily involved — or trusted — within the administration. This new report comes on the heels of the revelation that he was kept in the dark about misleading information Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had given him for two weeks. As embarrassing as that situation may have been, this is arguably worse. The sitting Vice President is potentially being undercut from within the White House on the international stage.
The ramifications for international relationships, however, are even graver. Europe is in a state of political flux. The continent is now left to grasp with uncertainty over the strength of a friendship that has defined the geopolitical world order since the end of World War II. And the American citizen must now come to grips that policy messages coming publicly from the White House are potentially being undercut by unelected and unconfirmed advisors with access to top secret information.
Featured photo by Johannes Simon/Drew Angerer Getty Images News
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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)