President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon left his position Friday, the White House announced, as the newly minted Chief of Staff John Kelly sought to bring order to an administration riven by infighting and power struggles.
Mr. Bannon’s departure marks the fourth senior White House official to leave the president’s administration in the past five weeks, which has yet to see a major legislative victory despite serving with a Republican-controlled Congress.
.. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday, “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 breaking point came after liberal political magazine American Prospect published an extended interview in which he referred to white supremacist groups as “clowns,” said the president’s pro-business advisers were “wetting themselves” and—contrary to the president’s public positions—dismissed the potential for military action in North Korea.
.. Mr. Bannon’s allies said he didn’t intend his discussion with the American Prospect to be on the record... He texted and emailed with colleagues around the clock, and was known for his unkempt appearance and for dropping obscure quotes from John Wayne movies or ancient philosophers into casual conversation... Breitbart has published such articles as “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”.. Inside the White House, Mr. Bannon had argued against issuing Monday’s “white supremacists” statement, telling the president that he would be criticized in the media for changing this position.. Later in the week, Mr. Trump doubled down on another of his chief strategist’s recommendations: lamenting the removal of statues commemorating Confederate leaders by likening it to a whitewashing of American history... there are deep concerns about the former Breitbart CEO’s ability to influence the administration from the outside.. they worry about the president moving toward the political center without Mr. Bannon involved in policy fights.. “I see New York Democrats and generals in ascendancy, and that is not what we ran on in 2016,” the person said. “So it worries me.”.. Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.) pushed back hard against the idea of getting rid of Mr. Bannon, according to a person familiar with the matter. Conservatives from the tea party movement have viewed him as a crucial link to the White House.