Steve Bannon leaves White House as chief strategist, returns to Breitbart News as executive chairman

Hours after he left the White House as its chief strategist, Stephen Bannon returned to Breitbart News on Friday as its executive chairman

PTI August 19, 2017 08:43:04 IST
Steve Bannon leaves White House as chief strategist, returns to Breitbart News as executive chairman

Washington: Hours after he left the White House as its chief strategist, Stephen Bannon returned to Breitbart News on Friday as its executive chairman, a position he held before joining the Trump campaign in 2016 to help him attain the presidential victory.

Breitbart, seen as a news outlet having right-wing leanings, said Bannon had returned as executive chairman on Friday afternoon and had chaired the company's evening editorial meeting.

"The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today. Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda," said Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow.

Buoyed by Bannon's return, Breitbart News CEO and President Larry Solov said, "Breitbart's pace of global expansion will only accelerate with Steve back. The sky's the limit."

Steve Bannon leaves White House as chief strategist returns to Breitbart News as executive chairman

File image of Steve Bannon. AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a brief statement did not explain the reasons for his departure.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed Friday would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," Sanders said in a statement.

In an interview to the conservative outlet Weekly Standard on Friday, Bannon, 63 , said the Trump presidency is over.

"The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over," Bannon told the Weekly Standard.

"We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over," he said.

Bannon denied that he was fired.

"On 7 August, I talked to [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and to the president, and I told them that my resignation would be effective the following Monday, on 14th," he said.

"I'd always planned on spending one year. General Kelly has brought in a great new system, but I said it would be best. I want to get back to Breitbart," Bannon said.

The former White House chief strategist said that the fight is just the beginning.

"I feel jacked up. Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, 'it's Bannon the Barbarian.' I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There's no doubt..." Bannon said.

Bannon predicted that Trump would now be moderated by the Republicans. "I think they're going to try to moderate him," he said.

"I think he'll sign a clean debt ceiling, I think you'll see all this stuff. His natural tendency ... and I think you saw it this week on Charlottesville ... his actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you're going to see a lot of constraints on that. It will be much more conventional," Bannon said.

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