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Steve Bannon fired as Trump White House’s top strategist

Steve BannonImage copyright AFP

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the latest top aide of President Donald Trump to leave his post.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Friday was his last day.

His exit follows a review of his position by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Mr Bannon, a right-wing nationalist and former head of Breitbart.com, helped shape the “America First” message of Mr Trump’s election campaign.

But critics had accused the 63-year-old of harbouring anti-Semitic and white supremacist views.

Mr Bannon is known to have competed for influence in the West Wing against more moderate factions, including members of the Trump family.


Taking credit did him in

By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

Steve Bannon may be out as a senior White House adviser, but Bannonism – if that’s what it can properly be called – is still firmly entrenched in the White House.

Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted that the success of his presidential campaign should properly be attributed to him, not Mr Bannon. And, in the end, Mr Bannon’s desire to take credit for that win may have been what did him in.

It certainly wasn’t because of any sharp ideological divides between the president and the former head of Breitbart News.

Border security, aggressive trade protectionism, immigration reform and a certain kind of cultural nostalgia – all were themes that Mr Trump ran on from the start, which Mr Bannon only sharpened and focused. They’re also issues Mr Trump has pushed in recent weeks, even as Mr Bannon has been increasingly marginalised.

Mr Bannon’s firing will be seen as a win for Chief of Staff John Kelly, whose attempts to instil discipline in the White House will get a boost without the free-wheeling Mr Bannon roaming the hallways.

Trump was Trump before Mr Bannon came on the scene, however. And as the rollercoaster ride that was politics this week indicates, the president isn’t changing anytime soon.


Mr Trump fuelled speculation when asked last week about Mr Bannon’s future as he replied: “We’ll see.”

Mr Bannon’s interview this week with the American Prospect, a liberal magazine, reportedly infuriated the president.

The White House aide was quoted as dismissing the idea of a military solution in North Korea, undercutting Mr Trump.

Mr Bannon told associates he thought it was an off-the-record chat and didn’t realise he would be quoted.

Ms Huckabee Sanders’ statement said: “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.”

Source familiar with the decision said Mr Bannon had been given the chance to leave on his own terms.


Who else left Trump’s White House team?

Anthony Scaramucci, communications director – 31 July

Reince Priebus, chief of staff – 28 July

Sean Spicer, press secretary – 21 July

Mike Dubke, communications director, 30 May

James Comey, FBI director – 9 May

Michael Flynn, national security adviser – 14 February


Mr Bannon took over as chief of Trump’s presidential campaign in August 2016.

He was formerly a US Navy officer, Goldman Sachs investment banker, Hollywood movie producer and head of Breitbart News.

He has reportedly told friends he could go back to the right-wing outlet that has boisterously supported Mr Trump.

In a potentially worrying sign for the White House, Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak tweeted: “#WAR”.

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