(FILES) This file photo taken on January 31, 2017 shows then Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) and Counselor to US President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway talking before a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump has moved to dismiss his far-right chief strategist Steve Bannon, as the White House reels from the fallout over Trump’s response to a violent white supremacist rally, The New York Times reported on August 18, 2017. Brendan Smialowski / AFP
Donald Trump’s controversial far-right chief strategist Steve Bannon left the White House Friday as the administration reels from the fallout over Trump’s response to a violent white supremacist rally.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
Trump has come under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike for insisting anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for violence at a weekend rally staged by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Critics of the 63-year-old Bannon, the former head of ultra conservative outlet Breitbart News, label him a white supremacist, and his presence at the White House has been controversial from the start.
Bannon was described as being the nucleus of one of several competing power centers in what has been a chaotic West Wing.
The New York Times reported earlier that the US leader had informed top aides of his decision to part ways with his embattled strategist, but was still debating when and how to dismiss him.
The Times quoted a person close to Bannon as insisting the parting of ways was his own idea, and that he had submitted his resignation on August 7, to be announced at the start of this week — but that it was delayed by the chaotic developments of the past week.
The Times has previously reported that Bannon was in disfavor for allegedly leaking stories about White House colleagues who he feels do not sufficiently adhere to Bannon’s populist agenda.
Trump was reportedly personally furious about an interview Bannon gave this week to a left-leaning publication in which the aide contradicted the Republican billionaire’s position on North Korea.