In February of this year, at the close of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, the pro-Trump blogger Mike Cernovich trekked to the Capitol Hill townhouse that serves as the personal headquarters for former White House adviser Steve Bannon.
The inconspicuous brick building, once the unofficial Washington bureau for Breitbart News, had grown into an unlikely center of political gravity during the presidency of Donald Trump. Now out of the White House, the president’s former chief strategist was still holding court there for a steady stream of journalists, donors and activists.
Cernovich was there to vent. Seated at the long dining room table where Bannon hosts visitors, he complained that Trump had stopped sticking up for his most loyal supporters. He mentioned some public altercations at which anti-fascist demonstrators had assaulted Trump fans. While the president seemed to have plenty of time to engage in feuds with celebrities on Twitter, Cernovich griped, Trump had remained silent on those violent attacks. So, Cernovich noted, had “that sleepy elf,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “You can’t wear a MAGA hat and not get a brick thrown at your head,” he said.