(CNN)White House chief strategist Steve Bannon gave an unusually, um, frank interview to the editor of the liberal American Prospect magazine this week in which he boasted of "fighting" with other top Trump administration aides "every day" and acknowledged that there was no military solution to the North Korea morass -- among many, many other things.
How not to get fired by Donald Trump, in 10 easy steps
The explanation for Bannon's odd interview? It wasn't an interview at all!
A source close to Bannon told CNN Wednesday night that he -- a man who ran a quasi-media company before coming to the White House -- was unaware that he was being interviewed by the Prospect's Robert Kuttner. "It was no interview," the source told CNN.
Bannon's media misunderstanding came just weeks after then-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci launched into an expletive-laden tirade against his new colleagues in an interview with the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza. Scaramucci accused Lizza of violating some sort of Italian trust code in publishing the contents of that conversation. He -- Scaramucci, not Lizza -- was fired after just 10 days on the job.
Given these struggles to deal effectively with the media, I've penned a simple 10-step "how to" guide for Trump senior officials to effectively deal with the media. It's below.
Step 1: Do you work at the White House? If "no", skip to to step 9. If "yes" go to step 2.
Step 2: OK! You are currently employed in the Trump administration, right? If not, go to step 9. If so, go to step 3.
Step 3: Do you have a telephone in your hand? If "yes", proceed to step 4. If not, skip to step 9.
Step 4: Have you called someone who describes their profession in the following ways: "Reporter," "journalist," "scribe," "correspondent," "writer," "editor," "anchor" or "ink slinger"? If yes, go to step 5. If no, skip to step 9.
Step 5: Have you started talking yet? If yes, go to step 6. If not, skip to step 7.
Step 6: Immediately say something like "Hey man, you know all that stuff we just talked about where I badmouthed everyone I work with and/or said that there is no military solution to North Korea and/or suggested a colleague is able to do something to himself that requires a massive amount of flexibility? Yeah, that was off the record, right?" If that works, go to step 7. If not, skip to step 8.
Step 7: Hang up. Take your cell phone and flush it down the toilet. Skip to step 9.
Step 8: Go back to step 7. But instead of the going to step 9 after that, proceed directly to step 10.
Step 9: Congrats! You still have a job! Keep making America great again, and don't proceed to step 10!
Step 10: You're fired!