Before the events of last week, Steve Bannon had come to an agreement with White House chief of staff John Kelly in July that he would leave the White House in mid-August in a low-key, civil manner, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
However, President Donald Trump’s response to the Charlottesville attack and Bannon’s phone call to the American Prospect prompted a much more abrupt departure on Friday afternoon, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed White House aides and associates to Trump and Bannon.
Bannon urged Trump not to give way to his critics regarding the President’s failure to fully condemn white nationalists, clashing with Kelly, per the Times. Following Trump’s initial response, Bannon and Kelly agreed to push his departure date to early September, according to the Times. But Bannon’s impromptu interview with the American Prospect about policy toward China and North Korea irked Kelly, and Bannon was then quickly let go, the New York Times reported.
Though Bannon’s time in the White House came to a rather abrupt end on Friday, his star had been fading for a while as he clashed with other members of Trump’s staff. Last week, Trump was no longer willing to side with Bannon, in part because he believed Bannon was leaking stories about White House infighting to the media, per the Times.
Bannon frequently butt heads with Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
The former chief strategist places some blame for his departure on Kushner. Bannon told friends that he believes Kushner asked Rupert Murdoch to urge Trump to fire Bannon, according to Vanity Fair.