The spate of recent White House job losses continues, with news overnight that Donald Trump has fired his chief strategist Steve Bannon, the former editor of far-right website Breitbart, who joined his campaign in the months leading up to last year’s election.
Bannon was said to be the driving force behind many of Trump’s more extreme nationalist policies, including the controversial travel ban, and his greatest hits include an ugly spat with Jared Kushner, in which he called the President’s son-in-law a “cuck” and a globalist.
The New York Post had one of the more succinct takes on Bannon’s ousting, running a Survivor: White House front page highlighting the recent staff turnover.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 18, 2017
Bannon’s position at the White House has been shaky for some time, and this week, many speculated that he might be in immediate jeopardy after an interview in which he undercut Trumps’s position on North Korea, telling The American Prospect “there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
Sure enough, a statement came earlier today from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who replaced the embattled Sean Spicer in the job back in July. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” she said.
While Bannon was seen as instrumental in shoring up Trump’s victory, the President himself downplayed his chief strategist’s role in a recent stream-of-consciousness rant to the press, saying:
Mr Bannon came on very late. You know that. I went through 17 senators, governors and I won all the primaries. Mr Bannon came on very much later than that. And I like him. He is a good man. He is not a racist. I can tell you that. He is a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard.
We’ll just have to take your word for that, mate.
Many have celebrated Bannon’s departure, including Michael Tyler of the Democratic National Committee, who made a blunt statement saying: “There is one less white supremacist in the White House, but that doesn’t change the man sitting behind the Resolute desk.”
“Donald Trump has spent decades fuelling hate in communities, including his recent attempts to divide our country and give a voice to white supremacists.”