Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn, two fierce rivals, shared one boss: Trump

Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn

This is the tale of two interviews with two of the biggest beasts of the first year of the Trump administration - and two fierce ideological rivals.

Steve Bannon was the architect of Trump's election victory - the fight-picking, take-no-hostages, burn-it-all-down, disruptor-in-chief - who brought that approach into the White House as chief strategist. Bannon was the leader of the "build the wall", immigration-limiting, tariffs-work brigade. He would describe himself as an economic nationalist; his many opponents would prefer to use the epithet "racist".

Gary Cohn is cut from a different cloth. As de facto number two at Goldman Sachs, he was once tipped to run one of the most powerful banks in the world. Then he was brought into the White House to head the National Economic Council, which advises the White House on global and domestic economic policy.

This was a hugely powerful position that he used to give Trump his biggest legislative victory since coming to office: the package of tax cuts that is being credited with boosting consumer demand and making US companies more competitive globally with the corporation tax cut.

To spend time with them as I have these past few days is to feel you have lived through the battles that shook the White House and still continue to divide Republicans. And the settings of the interviews were equally stark. So were their demeanours.

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Mueller report: A president saved from himself

Attorney General William Barr takes questions about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC Image copyright Getty/Win McNamee
Image caption Attorney General William Barr takes questions about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC

Lengthy reports on politics tend to be as dry as dust; a perfect cure for insomniacs; a turn on for political obsessives and a total turn-off for those with normal lives to lead. "Sorry darling, I can't come in for dinner now I'm reading appendix 6, paragraph 4 subsection 2 of this really gripping report."

Well my friends, the Mueller report really is a page turner, full of juicy revelations and intriguing titbits of palace intrigue. Its portrayal of life inside the West Wing a couple of years back is riveting. It is a place teetering out of control, with a succession of top advisers choosing to ignore the wishes of an increasingly angry president. There are so many fantastic vignettes.

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The Mueller report is here at last - so what's next?

Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters

Finally. At last. The day has come. The Mueller report. It is here.

And for all the hype, the expectation that Washington and cable news specialises in, on the one to 10 scale where one is a barely audible whimper and 10 is the eruption of a Krakatoan volcano, this is almost certainly going to be at the lower decibel end.

Read full article The Mueller report is here at last - so what's next?

The strategy behind Trump's condemnation of Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar outside the US Capitol Image copyright Reuters

Ilhan Omar last November became one of two Muslim women elected to the US Congress.

Hers is a remarkable story. Escaping the protracted civil war in Somalia, she and her family fled and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.

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Mueller report: The best day of Trump's presidency

Trump departs from Florida Image copyright Reuters

What was that film called? As Good As It Gets? That's how Donald Trump must feel now that the attorney general has published his four-page summary of the Mueller report.

It is impossible to over-emphasise the significance of what has been said.

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How May summoned up her inner Trump for her Brexit address

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Media captionTheresa May: "I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June"

Theresa May has not wanted for people telling her how she should have and could have done things better with regards to Brexit. But perhaps some of the most unwanted and unwelcome advice has come from the other half in the special relationship, Donald Trump.

She has taken a whole lot of heat from him over her handling of Brexit.

Read full article How May summoned up her inner Trump for her Brexit address

What Trump wants from Kim talks

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Media captionMr Trump landed in Hanoi hours after Mr Kim arrived by car

In a jaw dropping presidency has there ever been a more jaw dropping moment than the moment last June when Donald Trump walked in from the right and Kim Jong-un came in from the left, and shook hands in Singapore?

The two gunslingers, little rocket man (as Trump had called Kim), and the mentally deranged dotard (as Kim had called Trump) about to parlay. It was extraordinary, not just because of the improbability, but also because there has probably never in history been a summit so ill-prepared.

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Trump national emergency - A major land grab by the president

Trump's hand as he speaks in Rose Garden Image copyright Getty Images

After his failure to win support from Congress for his demand to fund the building of his border wall, Donald Trump was left with a series of unpalatable choices.

Admit total failure on your key campaign pledge. Or go nuclear.

Read full article Trump national emergency - A major land grab by the president

Why the attack on our cameraman was no surprise

Trump points to the media Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump frequently points out where the media are located in the audience

I would really love to be able to say when I heard about the attack on our cameraman Ron Skeans that I was surprised. Or shocked even. I wasn't.

Once I found out that he was OK, and that the rest of the team were OK, I thought this was a pretty unsurprising event. What is shocking is that my reaction should be like that - because surely it can never be right that a person going about doing their job, in a country which cherishes the First Amendment and the rights of a free press, is pushed to the ground. But it is an incident that's been coming for a long time.

Read full article Why the attack on our cameraman was no surprise

Three things to look for in Trump's State of the Union speech

Trump addressing the chamber Image copyright Getty Images

On Tuesday night, a week later than originally scheduled (the protracted government shutdown got in the way), the president will take the short car ride from the White House to the Capitol and deliver his State of the Union speech.

It's like the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster - except without the horses and carriages - and of course there's no throne or crown.

Read full article Three things to look for in Trump's State of the Union speech