White House beset by internal divisions, staff infighting and a storm of controversies after US President, Donald Trump fired his chief strategist, Steve Bannon. He was supposed to be fired two weeks ago but the influential chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and others urged Trump to keep him onboard. Trump was furious with his chief strategist, Steve Bannon after he was quoted in an interview with the American Prospect contradicting Trump on North Korea and asserting that Bannon was able to make personnel changes at the State Department. Bannon was continuing to work up schedules for the rollout of trade initiatives that would come in September, long after he was expected to be forced out from the White House. A news channel depicted him as the grim reaper, playing Mr. Trump like a puppet, something that reportedly amused Mr. Bannon, but enraged his boss.
The president tried to downplay Bannon’s influence on his campaign at the recent press conference, saying, “I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late.”
Bannon joined Trump’s campaign last year, moving from the sidelines as one of Trump’s top cheerleaders to a position atop his campaign apparatus. Bannon viewed himself as the populist defender of Trump’s campaign promises in the White House, working daily to tick off items from the list of promises that hung on the walls of his West Wing office. Bannon focused especially on pushing a hardline trade agenda, recently working to cue up a series of trade policies to aggressively target Chinese foreign trade abuses and work toward rebalancing the trading relationship between the US and China.
Bannon’s exit meant one of the White House’s most controversial staffers, the man generally perceived as the driving force behind Trump’s “nationalist” ideology, would no longer be the center of the Trump universe.
After Bannon was fired, he said that Trump presidency, that his brand of populist, right-wing conservatives helped make possible is now “over.” But he has clarified that he will not go on a war with Trump. He will still fight for the exact same things that the President has been fighting for. He has argued that he would be a more powerful force from the outside of the White House. He has privately told associates he would return to his “killing machine” Breitbart if he was forced to leave the White House and has said he would be able to target some of his White House rivals like chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster from the outside more easily.
Within hours of leaving his office, Mr. Bannon was back at Breitbart, the right-wing website he ran, presiding over the evening news conference. In interviews, he made it clear he was not going quietly as he rounded on those he held responsible for his departure. He added: “I feel jacked up. Now I’ve got my hands back on my weapons,” he added as he vowed “Bannon the barbarian” would crush the opposition.
The question now is whether Bannon will be an ally or a thorn in the side of the Trump administration outside the White House, where he has apparently already returned to his role as head of Breitbart, the right-wing news site he ran until he joined Trump’s campaign a year ago.
Bannon has attracted significant controversy during his time at the White House, where he was blamed for the failed implementation of the travel ban, which was quickly blocked by the courts. It has been reported that the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, have long urged Bannon’s dismissal.
Donald Trump’s deputy assistant could be the next to go. But Mr. Trump is reported to be a fan of Mr. Gorka’s combative style and his forthright defense of the administration in his media appearances.