According to a breaking news report from The New York Times, President Donald Trump has decided to remove White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the controversial nationalist provocateur who was a huge part in Trump’s surge to the presidency.
The Times says Trump and his top aides “were debating when and how to dismiss” Bannon, adding that Trump could decide to keep Bannon in the job “for some time” due to the fact that he’s adverse to confrontaton, the newspaper said citing two administration officials briefed on the discussion.
Reports citing inside sources said Trump had been growing increasingly angry with Bannon in recent months, especially after a recent widely shared interview where Bannon contradicted Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea and attacked other administration officials. Bannon was a big part in the Trump administration’s plans to overhaul free trade, crack down on legal immigration, and revamp regulation.
From The New York Times:
But 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.
A report from Axios earlier this week revealed that Trump was suspicious of Bannon for leaking info that was detrimental to certain White House officials. Breitbart News, of which Bannon was formerly executive chairman, had published numerous stories attacking Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
From Axios’s August 12 report:
Trump has told associates he’s fed up with what he sees as self-promotion by Bannon, who did not join the core team this week at the president’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J. …
Bannon’s time with Trump has diminished since the new chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, took over and imposed discipline on the circus around the Oval Office.
Having Bannon as a White House outsider could pose new problems for Trump because he could the media to step up attacks against people still within the administration.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore