President Donald Trump may have fired his former senior strategist Steve Bannon, but that doesn’t mean Bannon is ready to let the next presidential election season happen without putting his influence to use.
According to The Daily Beast, Bannon has contacted Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, to discuss his potential run for presidency in 2020 and urge him to run as a Democrat.
Cuban, according to CNBC, has denied that he has talked to Bannon about his possible run. Cuban has been open about the idea of running, however, having talked publicly about his possible aspirations.
Cuban's past support for Hillary Clinton should be enough to keep Bannon as far away from the billionaire as possible, but if Trump doesn’t seek a second term, which Bannon has implied in the past, the former strategist must be eyeing a successor. Still, if Cuban runs as a Democrat, we should question what Bannon’s interest in his candidacy is all about.
According to Cuban himself, he and Bannon have only met once after Trump’s election win. After that, they only exchanged text messages with nothing “more than a full sentence,” he said.
But according to former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, “they talk regularly.”
“They’re very similar. They have a lot of synergy there. Even when [Steve] went to work for Trump, Mark would be interviewed and say nice things about Steve,” he explained.
In responding to The Daily Beast article, Cuban told Business Insider that he engages in conversation with Bannon "to find some common ground."
"I don't have a problem meeting and talking to him," Cuban said. "If we want to get past all of this divisive tribalism, it's going to take someone talking to both sides and trying to find some common ground."
According to Cuban himself, however, if he does run, he would prefer running as an independent.
Yet, he told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace that “[w]hat holds me back more than anything is my family.” Despite the doubts, he said he’s “thinking [about running] quite a bit. Would I do it? Right now I say it is 10 percent.”
On Twitter, Trump played down Cuban’s possible bid by saying the billionaire isn’t smart enough for the job.
I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn't interested in taking all of his calls.He's not smart enough to run for president!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2017
If Cuban does end up running and has Bannon as a supporter, it’s safe to assume that the mogul isn’t that fierce of an opponent of Trump and his agenda, after all.