President Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, has been fired, two White House officials told CNN Friday.
A source told CNN that Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, was given the option to resign but was ultimately forced out.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Bannon’s departure but did not say whether he was fired or resigned.
“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,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement.
Trump this year has fired two other aides who helped him win the White House, Reince Priebus and Michael Flynn.
Bannon’s departure comes just seven months after Trump took office and three weeks after retired Gen. John Kelly took over as chief of staff, looking to bring order to a White House in chaos.
“Steve Bannon was integral to Trump’s victory last November,” said one senior administration official of Bannon, who joined Trump’s campaign last year. “The president built his own platform, but Steve translated it into policy. He’s the man that most embodies the base outside of the president. He’s the highest-level expression of the platform that got the president elected, and the president knows that.”
Bannon was supposed to be fired two weeks ago, a White House official told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, but it was put off.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said Bannon should never have been given his position by President Trump.
He never should have been in the White House to begin with and his departure is welcome news.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) August 18, 2017
Many Democrats questioned whether Bannon’s firing would really change the White House or Trump’s policies.
While he never should have been in the WH, I’m glad Bannon is out. But he's just one staffer & we need real action to undo the damage done https://t.co/s6qHu9lu3v
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) August 18, 2017
Personnel changes are fascinating and dramatic but let's just remember how little of a difference it makes with this President.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) August 18, 2017
“It can’t reverse the Muslim Ban. It can’t reverse the President’s inappropriate attacks on a Federal judge of Mexican heritage,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said in a statement. “And it can’t reverse the White House’s reluctance to denounce white supremacists.”
#Bannon was just a start. What really have to go are the xenophobic policies & rhetoric he inspired.
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) August 18, 2017
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) August 18, 2017
— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) August 18, 2017
— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) August 18, 2017
One thing we know: Steve Bannon is not resigning to protest the President's apparent support for white supremacists.
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) August 18, 2017
Good riddance! Now we need to focus on getting the other racists out of the White House. https://t.co/CVIW6j8JLM
— Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) August 18, 2017
One white supremacist out of the Trump Administration, many more to go… https://t.co/oPHLZo80iU
— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) August 18, 2017