The White House has announced that Steve Bannon would leave his role as chief strategist on Friday, after reports indicated for several weeks that Bannon’s star in the Trump administration was fading.
“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,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The confirmation from the White House came shortly after the New York Times reported that Trump was telling his aides that he was preparing to fire Bannon.
Minutes before the Times published its piece, the Drudge Report also telegraphed that Bannon was on his way out:
Bannon had one hell of a run…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) August 18, 2017
Bannon represented the nationalist, hard-line anti-immigrant wing of the White House. As chief strategist, he helped craft the executive order barring travelers from certain majority-Muslim countries and unsuccessfully pushed for Trump to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Bannon reportedly clashed with Jared Kushner, the President’s adviser and son-in-law, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Through Bannon and former chief of staff Reince Priebus seem like unlikely allies, they both had been aligned in opposition to hiring financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. All three men are now out at the White House.
The news of Trump’s plans to force Bannon out comes after rumors swirled all week that his time in the Trump administration could soon come to an end.
Bannon submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, the New York Times reported, but Trump had not yet accepted that resignation before Friday.
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) August 18, 2017
The American Prospect published an interview with Bannon earlier this week in which he declared that the U.S. is in an “economic war” with China, bragged that he would oust officials from the State and Defense Departments who disagreed with him and dismissed white nationalists as a “fringe” part of the Republican Party.