For the second time in a month, the right-wing news organization Breitbart has been denied press privileges on Capitol Hill. According to The Daily Beast, the Capitol Hill standing committee, the group that gives the ultimate thumbs-up or thumbs-down on Hill press passes, not only denied Breitbart’s request for a permanent press pass but also put the kibosh on the outlet’s use of temporary passes they had been using to gain access.
The Daily Beast also reports that one of their sources suggested (of Breitbart’s pursuit of a permanent pass), “Let them go away and take some time” to sort out their issues, then they can reapply at a later date. The Daily Beast report goes on to point out that the committee’s denial letter to Breitbart read in part that the committee is “tabling the application and discontinuing temporary credentials without any extension.” So, not great news for Breitbart.
What issues might Breitbart need to sort out, you might ask? Issues related to Steve Bannon, most likely. Bannon, now a chief strategist in the White House, served as the site’s chief executive before he joined President Trump’s presidency run. Reportedly, one of the main issues that have concerned committee members is that Bannon has not completely severed ties with his former employer. Committee members are rumored to be concerned that the remaining ties could create a conflict of interest and affect coverage.
It’s unclear exactly what the committee is asking Breitbart to do to get a press pass approved, but if the problem is Steve Bannon, that problem may take care of itself sooner, rather than later. Bannon is reportedly seeing his influence in the Oval Office whittled down to almost nothing in the midst of his constant infighting with White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. If relations within the White House don’t improve fast, Bannon would seem likely to be the first man to bite the dust.