Trump dumps Steve Bannon

Bannon's dismissal is the latest in a series of White House departures and staff shakeups since July.
By Jeremy Morrow | Aug 22, 2017
Steve Bannon is vacating his post as White House chief strategist, the White House reported Friday. President Trump and the new chief of staff, John Kelly, jointly terminated Bannon's position, thereby ending the tenure of a man whom many Trump critics linked to the "alt-right" movement and white nationalism.

Bannon's dismissal is the latest in a series of White House departures and staff shakeups since July. The resignations of Sean Spicer as press secretary, Reince Preibus as chief of staffKelly was Preibus' replacementand Anthony Scaramucci as communications director all occurred in the last five weeks.

Bannon had weathered accusations being a closet white supremacist from the start of his tenure at the White House. But public opposition against him gained strength last week after the death of an anti-fascist protestor at a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Bannon had no direct connection to the rally or its organizers. But when Trump refused to directly condemn the white supremacists and made equivocating statements that anti-fascist protesters were equally at fault, Bannon received blame for steering Trump in the wrong direction on racial issues.

Not everyone is glad to see Bannon go, however. Right after news of Bannon's dismissal broke, a gathering of conservative leaders sent the White House a letter Friday praising Bannon and his role in shaping Trump's agenda.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, who signed the letter, told reporters later Friday that conservatives like him were disappointed by the ouster of Bannon. He said he hoped Trump would replace him with another staunch conservative, or else conservatives would lose much of their existing leverage in the White House.

"Our encouragement to [Mr. Trump] would be to make certain that there is somebody close to him who shares his philosophy and understands his key issues and how they translated to the American people," said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government.

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