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Resignations/Firings From the Increasingly Chaotic White House
Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
Earlier on Friday, the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion. But a person close to Mr. Bannon insisted that the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week. But the move was delayed after the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.
Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.
The proximate cause could be any of a dozen things. Could be Kelly. More likely is Bannon's interview where he said North Korea's threat to Seoul with conventional weapons meant military options were basically off the table and called his fellow travelers in white supremacy "clowns." That kind of thing punctures the president's ego and makes him very mad.
This means there's one fewer white supremacist in the White House, which is all to the good. Though as the DNC said:
[it] doesn't change the man sitting behind the Resolute desk.
It's unclear what Bannon does next. He might go right back to Breitbart (supposedly to declare war on Trump, but I'll believe that when I see it). There are also rumors that he and the billionaire racist Mercer family will start a new venture.
Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.