Steve Bannon Out at the White House

Bannon's tenure as chief strategist was short and extremely controversial.

Steve Bannon, who entered the White House in January as a conquering media executive-turned-political strategist, is leaving his position. Friday is his last day as chief strategist, the White House confirmed.

"White House chief of staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the office of the press secretary said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that Bannon was on his way out, though the president had not yet decided "when and how" to do it. But several political reporters then said on Twitter that Bannon told them he resigned from his position several weeks ago. "Steve Bannon just told me he resigned from the White House two weeks ago," wrote Sara Carter of the Trump-friendly Circa news organization.

Matt Drudge was the first person to claim that Bannon was out, setting the rest of the political media landscape on a chase to try to confirm the news.

Bannon's departure has been rumored for weeks, and the president did nothing to quiet those rumors this week, giving him a lukewarm endorsement during a hastily arranged press conference at Trump Tower this week. Bannon then embarked on something of a media tour, speaking with the editor of left-leaning magazine The American Prospect as well as The New York Times and The Washington Post. His motives for doing these interviews have been unclear.

Bannon was the executive chairman of the right-leaning Breitbart News before joining Donald Trump's campaign as chief executive in August. In the White House, he has served as chief strategist, though his role and impact has been diminished in recent weeks and months. Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reported after the news of Bannon's ouster broke that Bannon is expected to re-join Breitbart.

Kurt Bardella, who served under Bannon as a spokesperson for Breitbart before resigning, predicted that Bannon "will continue to use his weapon of choice, Breitbart, to attack his adversaries inside the West Wing." Bardella said that Bannon "will feel liberated" upon leaving the White House and potentially taking back control of the news site.

 

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