A FAN of military history, Stephen Bannon may know of Nikephoros, a Byzantine emperor who was vanquished and decapitated by a Bulgar khan who, for extra humiliation, then fashioned his skull into a drinking cup. President Donald Trump’s erstwhile muse might even feel he has experienced something similar, at the end of a week in which he has been denounced and excommunicated by the president, jettisoned by his conservative benefactor, Rebekah Mercer, and, on January 9th, shunted from his position at the helm of Breitbart News, a hard-right website which gained huge exposure from his former success. The same day, in a jaw-dropping televised meeting with congressional leaders, Mr Trump airily suggested he might support a package of liberal immigration reforms. This was the modern-day equivalent of supping from Mr Bannon’s gilded skull.

The spur to his demise was Mr Bannon’s lead role in briefing Michael Wolff, author of the caustic takedown of the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury”, that…Continue reading