Reporting by John Roberts
In the early days of the administration Steve Bannon appeared untouchable--the campaign chairman turned top strategist who shared a virtual mind-meld with the president on populist ideology.
But today, the release from the White House:
“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.”
The writing had been on the wall for weeks. President Trump is said to have grown frustrated at the reputation Bannon developed as the real power in the White House. A figure portrayed on late-night as a grim reaper/Darth Vader character who pulled the president’s strings.
But while President Trump had growing reservations about Bannon, it was the new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who sealed the deal.
An administration source tells FOX News discussions about Bannon leaving have been in the works for almost since Kelly came on board.
At the presidents now infamous Trump Tower press conference on Tuesday, Bannon appeared to be on thin ice, with President Trump replying “we’ll see” when asked whether Bannon would remain in his position.
The next day, he gave a stunning interview to the left-wing American Prospect magazine in which he attacked his colleagues and contradicted the president’s North Korea policy. An administration official told FOX News the interview “didn’t help” Bannon’s case.
Bannon’s departure drew the expected reaction from the left. The environmental group Sierra Club wrote:
Good riddance to Steve Bannon, as his disgraceful brand of hate and vitriol deserves no place in the White House.”
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York on the other hand lauded Bannon’s expertise and smarts, saying “He’s someone that brought a lot of talent and wisdom. He understands world history like few others do in this country. So, he brought a lot of skills.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed Bannon’s departure using an opportunity to bash the president in a statement: “Personnel changes are worthless as long as President Trump continues to advance policies that disgrace our cherished American values.”