WASHINGTON (WWJ/AP) — President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has been fired from his White House post.
That’s according to two people familiar with the decision who demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.
Bannon was a key adviser to Trump’s general election campaign and has been a forceful but contentious presence in a divided White House. The former leader of conservative Breitbart News pushed Trump to follow through with his campaign promises. But he’s also sparred with some of Trump’s closest advisers, including son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Eastern Michigan University political science professor Ed Sidlow spoke with WWJ following the announcement, and doesn’t consider the decision that surprising.
“This has been a White House in chaos almost since its inception,” Sidlow said. “You knew that Bannon was not going to last. Arguably this was the worst week that this White House has had and it was a good time to cut him loose.”
Sidlow added that Bannon’s departure is a move to keep Trump’s alleged issues with Russia “on the back burner.”
“Cutting Bannon loose today took the camera, eye and microphone off of Charlottesville for the first time,” Sidlow said. “I want to point out while this past week has been laden with political and yes even idiotical fireworks, bare in mind that Russia got put on the back burner again. If anything is going to cause Donald Trump or Donald Trump’s presidency — unless it’s his health — to fall apart it’s going to be Russia.”
Despite some news sources reporting Bannon was fired, President Trump’s Chief Of Staff John Kelly said in a statement the decision was mutual.
It’s been reported that Bannon has returned to Breitbart News as the right-wing media services’ executive chairman.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.