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Steve Bannon Out as White House Advisor

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has been fired, two White House officials told CNN Friday.

A source told CNN that Bannon was given the option to resign but was forced out. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Bannon’s departure but did not say whether he was fired or resigned.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” Sanders said in a statement.

The President has privately stewed over Bannon in recent days, including Thursday night from his golf course in New Jersey. He was furious with his chief strategist after he was quoted in an interview with the American Prospect contradicting him on North Korea and asserting that he was able to make personnel changes at the State Department.

Bannon’s exit comes just seven months after Trump took office and three weeks after retired Gen. John Kelly took over as chief of staff, looking to instill order in a chaotic White House beset by internal divisions, staff infighting and a storm of controversies.

Bannon’s exit meant one of the White House’s most controversial staffers, the man generally perceived as the driving force behind Trump’s “nationalist” ideology, would no longer be at the center of the Trump universe.

Bannon joined Trump’s campaign last year, moving from the sidelines as one of Trump’s top cheerleaders to a position atop his campaign apparatus.

He did not travel with the President during the first week of what White House officials described as a “working vacation” at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Instead Bannon remained in Washington to work out of a temporary office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Bannon was supposed to be fired two weeks ago, a White House official told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, but it was put off.

CNN reports the President equivocated after an initial plan was to fire Bannon and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at same time, the official says, because Rep. Mark Meadows, the influential chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and others urged Trump to keep him on board.

The interview this week was enough for Meadows to change his view, a person close to him says.

The question now is whether Bannon will be an ally or a thorn in the side of the Trump administration outside the White House, where he is likely to return to his role as head of Breitbart, the right-wing news site he ran until he joined Trump’s campaign a year ago.

A quick and contentious tenure

Bannon’s turbulent White House tenure was marked by controversy.

In the administration, Bannon frequently butted heads with other advisers to the president, feuding with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and other more moderate members of the President’s administration whom Bannon branded as “globalists.”

Bannon was often suspected by colleagues of badmouthing them to reporters and he rubbed colleagues the wrong way by attempting to ramrod his ideological positions.

“Steve was never a team player,” a senior administration official said.

Bannon viewed himself as the populist defender of Trump’s campaign promises in the White House, working daily to tick off items from the list of promises that hung on the walls of his West Wing office.

Bannon focused especially on pushing a hardline trade agenda, recently working to cue up a series of trade policies to aggressively target Chinese foreign trade abuses and work toward rebalancing the trading relationship between the US and China.

The fiery chief strategist also led the charge against proposals by national security officials to deepen US military involvement in Afghanistan, feuding vocally during meetings of the National Security Council with national security adviser H.R. McMaster and working behind the scenes to water down hawkish proposals for troop increases and a longer-term US military commitment.

The President is meeting Friday with members of his national security team at Camp David to consider options for the future of the US war in Afghanistan as he nears a decision, but Bannon is not there — and was not scheduled to be based on a list of attendees the White House sent out Friday morning.

Developing story, check back for updates

24 comments

  • WarningFakeNews

    Well, the liberals in the media and the swamp creatures believe they got Trump to cave by doing what they demanded he do. Now, of course, everyone will applaud Trump for making this move and work with him to get the American people’s agenda passed, right?

    Oh… that’s not how it works? Bannon, you’re a free man now, blast away! We’ve got your back, too!

  • Are you kidding!?!

    “If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up.
    I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents… on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,”

    BANNON

  • Conroy

    Shows you how the man treats his friends.
    “Oh you were with me from the beginning, thanks but you’re now a liability, you’re fired.”

  • Conniew (@Sylvieqt39)

    We have witnessed eight months of ineptitude and constant replacement of one clown with another. With any luck, it will be four years of this and not one rightwingnut policy will ever get passed. It will be as if Annoying Orange never happened.

    Trump supporters think he will build a wall, kick a bunch of brown people out, and most importantly, Make America “Great” Again. They hope he will get rid of Obamacare, which ironically, will hurt them the most. Under Obamacare, my pre-existing condition is insured. Before it, I struggled to make payments. Under the exchange, I pay just $200/month for health insurance. Also – My car insurance is down to $25/month (from Insurance-Panda). My renters insurance is just $10/month. Under Trump, America will become too unaffordable to live in.

    Trump is either a buffoon — not good — or in service of the Russians — same. His advisors and Congress need to stop enabling and apologizing for Trump’s treasonous behavior. Congress needs to commence impeachment proceedings.

  • Proletariat

    I guess that interview he gave where he came out as only using the Nazis for his own gain as a Fisher-Price Machiavelli was the straw for Trump. You’ve got to be a real Nazi to work in his administration.

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    BAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! He really must think he’s on a reality show where he has to fire people weekly…. poor confused old orange rug wearer……

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