Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon was sidelined from President Donald Trump’s decision last week to fire James Comey as head of the FBI, according to several reports.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing three unnamed White House officials, that — much like Comey himself — Bannon learned of the former FBI director’s firing from television reports, though a fourth unnamed source close to Bannon disputed that account.
The Washington Post also reported on Saturday that Bannon was intentionally excluded from Trump’s decisionmaking process, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
A third unnamed source told the Post that Bannon advised Trump to delay Comey’s termination to avoid backlash.
That account of events was supported by a New York Times report published on Wednesday in the immediate wake of Comey’s termination. In that report, the Times cited two unnamed sources familiar with Bannon’s thinking who said he urged Trump to delay Comey’s firing.
Trump nevertheless went ahead with the decision, and according to several reports is considering broad changes to his senior staff in the wake of backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.