Vanity Fair reported Sunday that a "high-level" staffer at Breitbart has threatened that the far-right website might "help" Congress impeach President Donald Trump if his administration breaks campaign promises following the firing of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The unidentified staffer told the magazine that, if Trump "deviates too far from the positions he ran on," then, "We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment."
At least one Democrat, Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.), has introduced formal articles of impeachment against Trump. Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen has announced plans to introduces his own set of articles of impeachment when Congress reconvenes following the August recess.
Bannon "has a lot of things up his sleeve," Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow revealed to Vanity Fair.
Trump announced Friday that Bannon was relieved of his position. Subsequently, multiple outlets reported that Bannon was set to return to his previous position at the helm of Breitbart News.
Why this is problematic
Previous announcements made by Bannon read that the site would be supportive of Trump and his presidency.
Bannon told Bloomberg on Friday: "If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."
Breitbart White House correspondent Charlie Spiering announced Bannon's return to the news organization on Friday, and said, "Steve Bannon returned to Breitbart News as executive chairman of Breitbart News and chaired our evening editorial meeting."
In a celebratory post on the news outlet, staff proclaimed Bannon as a populist hero and predicted greater heights of glory under his new direction.
“The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today,” Marlow said. “Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda.”
“Breitbart’s pace of global expansion will only accelerate with Steve back,” CEO and President Larry Solov said. “The sky’s the limit.”
The greater issue
If what staffers are telling Vanity Fair is true, it would appear that Breitbart's loyalties lie not with Trump but in his campaign promises.
Conservative author and speaker Ann Coulter voiced her concerns over Bannon's departure on Friday, saying, "STEVE BANNON OUT! Media is the most powerful branch of government."
In a follow-up interview, Coulter expounded on her comments: "This makes it appear that Trump is easily manipulable by the media. They just need to give all credit to any White House staffer they want to get rid of. I dread to think of who the media decide to get rid of next."
Conditional support from a large media group like Breitbart could easily sway other right-leaning media, and if Trump loses his conservative media support, mainstream media could further capitalize on the Trump administration's scandals over the last 200+ days.