Steve Bannon, the most divisive and combative staffer in the Trump White House and self-described "economic nationalist” behind Trump’s most controversial plans, is out. This brings to an end Bannon’s tumultous tenure as the Trump White House is swept up in a storm over the US President’s remarks on last week's white supremacist-led violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Related link: Trump's policies and white men in America
Bannon, 63, the dishevelled chief of Trump’s presidential campaign and his stunning election victory, is said to have offered his resignation to Trump on August 7.
Before joining Trump's campaign, Bannon was the publisher of Breitbart, a provocative right-wing news outlet which serves as a platform for the alt-right, a movement of white men clamouring for white nationalism to be given pride of place in a country swiftly becoming brown.
As Bannon became the fifth high-profile casualty in Trump's inner circle in just six months, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and James Murdoch, son of conservative media tycoon Rupert, added their voices to those criticizing the president.
After Bannon’s exit, will Trump change? With Trumpism’s lynchpin gone, what happens to Trump’s nationalist project, executed by Bannon all this while?
Key takeways from a red-hot Friday in Washington D.C:
Bannon may get back to his corner office in Breitbart. In an op-ed, the paper said that Trump sacked Bannon in "an effort to save his presidency after Charlottesville" but warned Trump not to turn away from the right. Breitbart was always designed to counter what its founder saw as the left's grip on the news agenda, which has been Trump’s line ever since Bannon got a handle on the campaign in 2016.
With Bannon as an angry outsider, new concerns are rife. Unlikely that Bannon will sit back and watch traditional Republicans go about their gig. Bannon is likely to become more aggressive which may fuel anger in the far-right fringe which is the chief architect of the Charlottesville violence.
Inside the White House, the new chief of staff, John Kelly is a moderate on immigration and has even gotten Trump to let go the idea of a border wall.
Although Steve Bannon exemplifies both xenophobic and economic nationalism, it’s the former that Trump has borrowed heavily from, not the latter. With Bannon gone and Trump’s pet daughter Ivanka clearly against alt-right wingnuts, the push factor for a lot of Trump’s unhinged rhetoric is gone.
But Bannon isn't sailing away to a faraway island anytime soon.
"Trump had the seeds. Bannon watered them and made sure they got enough sun. The full bloom Trump you've seen over the last week is because of what Bannon did over the past several years -- inside and outside of Trump's inner circle.
Don't assume that simply because Trump has fired Bannon as his chief White House strategist that their relationship is over. Bannon may be gone from the White House. But his influence won't be disappearing any time soon," says CNN.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 18, 2017
Trump's Rasputin has left the building. That doesn't mean he still won't be whispering in the president's ear. https://t.co/uabXFsoWRV
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) August 18, 2017
By all accounts, this is just Round One.
A Bannon kicked out of the White House will likely be more lethal.
Politico reports that in the days leading up to his exit Friday, Steve Bannon told his coterie that he was itching to return to the “kind of militant political combat that catapulted him to national fame and thrust him into the center of Trump’s orbit.”
Time for “Bannon da barbarian”, he reportedly said.
Elsewhere in the gilded corridors of the Trump estate, an exquisitely dressed lady in pointy stilletoes plots her next move for the 2024 campaign.
Soon after Bannon's exit, she posted this on her Twitter handle.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 18, 2017
Twitter | @byniknat
Updated Date: Aug 19, 2017 03:11 AM