If Bannon’s goal were really to be Trump’s “wingman outside,” though, then why would Cruz be excluded from the hit list? Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar” and refused to endorse him at the Republican National Convention. At one point, Trump even threatened to launch a Super PAC against Cruz.
The obvious reason Cruz has been granted immunity is that Bannon’s benefactors, the Mercers, love him. Apparently, Bannon is part of the swamp, because the Mercers’ money defines who he targets and who he doesn’t.
But it doesn’t end there. What’s happening in Utah is even more confusing—if viewed from Trump’s perspective. With Steve Bannon’s help, Boyd Matheson, a former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee, is considering running against Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. According to Politico, “When they huddled in Washington last week, Matheson and Bannon discussed how a 2018 campaign would play out.”
It may well be time for Hatch to go—he’s 83 and seeking his eighth term—and Matheson might be a fine conservative, but it’s doubtful this has anything to do with Trump’s wishes. Hatch has been pretty positive about Donald Trump—maybe even overly so. As Roll Call reported, “Hatch not only worked to support Trump in the Beehive State, he also helped in neighboring states with significant Mormon populations, uneasy over Trump’s personal values and background.”