Donald Trump’s embattled chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, is out of the White House as of today. Bannon, who is credited with helping Trump snag the alt-right voting base and the presidency, will likely return to the on-line hard right new organization that made him famous, Breitbart.com. Bannon was instrumental in steering the pro-Isreal site into an alt-right propaganda machine.
Sources close to Bannon told The New York Times that, “Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea,” even after White House officials stated that Trump made the decision to fire Bannon. The “parting of ways” was likely cemented after the chief strategist was quoted maligning the alt-right and White House policy to the progressive political magazine The American Prospect. In the interview, which sources close to Bannon first claimed was supposed to be off-the-record and then called it a ‘ploy’ to distract from the Charlottesville controversies, Mr. Bannon called the alt-right, “a fringe element,” and “collection of clowns.” The chief strategist then laid into the White House, describing the North Korean military conflict as a, “sideshow.”
Earlier this week at Trump Tower, the president was asked about Mr. Bannon and his future in the White House, to which Trump gave a vague, perplexing response, stating, “He’s not a racist, I can tell you that,” but adding, “we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.” Sources within the administration revealed that the new chief of staff, John Kelly, who was brought in to the calm the chaos within the White House, pushed for the president to remove Bannon who had escalated feuds with Trump’s senior advisers, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect, who took the phone interview with Mr. Bannon, is highly skeptical that anything Stephen Bannon does with the media isn’t thoroughly calculated, pointing out that, “He’s probably the most media-savvy person in America”
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