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Trump pushes out chief strategist Steve Bannon

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published August 18, 2017 at 12:05 p.m. Updated August 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

in-this-april-29-2017-file-photo-steve-bannon-chief-white-house-strategist-to-president-donald-trump-is-seen-in-harrisburg-pa

In this April 29, 2017, file photo, Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump is seen in Harrisburg, Pa.

WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, the strategist who rose from Donald Trump's conservative campaign to a top White House post, was pushed out by the president Friday, capping seven months that now has seen the departure of much of his senior staff.

The former leader of conservative Breitbart News and a favorite in the farther-right portions of the Republican Party, Bannon has pushed Trump to follow through on some of his most contentious campaign promises, including his travel ban for some foreigners and his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Just seven months in, Trump has forced out his hardline national security adviser, his chief of staff, his press secretary (whose last day will be Aug. 31) and two communications directors — in addition to the FBI director he inherited from Barack Obama.

"It's a tough pill to swallow if Steve is gone because you have a Republican West Wing that's filled with generals and Democrats," said former campaign strategist Sam Nunberg, shortly before the news of Bannon's departure broke. "It would feel like the twilight zone."

From Breitbart, there was a one-word warning.

"#WAR," tweeted Joel B. Pollak, a senior editor at large at the news site.

Bannon's nationalistic, outsider conservatism served as a guiding force for Trump's rise to office. Without him, Trump's agenda is left in the hands of more moderate advisers, including his son-in-law, his daughter and his economic adviser, whom Bannon has slammed as "globalist."

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly, only recently installed himself, had agreed that Friday would be Bannon's last day.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," she said in the only statement from the White House.

Bannon was a key adviser in Trump's general election campaign, but he has been a contentious presence in a White House divided by warring staff loyalties. He repeatedly clashed with other top advisers, most notably Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and has drawn the ire of the president himself.

One person close to Bannon said he had offered his resignation to Trump on Aug. 7. It was to go into effect a week later, the one-year anniversary of when he officially joined Trump's presidential campaign. But the departure was delayed after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., said the person, who spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Bannon's job appeared in jeopardy when Kelly announced that he'd be embarking on a personnel review of West Wing staff.

Though Bannon had adopted a lower profile in recent weeks, he again became a flashpoint after criticism from the right of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, which some blamed on him.

Then this week, The American Prospect posted an interview in which he contradicted Trump by saying there was no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. Just last week, Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury."

Bannon also told the liberal publication that the U.S. is losing the economic race against China and talked about purging his rivals from the Defense and State departments.

In recent remarks, the president has downplayed Bannon's role in his campaign and refused to express confidence in him.

"He's a good person. He actually gets very unfair press in that regard," Trump said earlier this week. "But we'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon."

In fact, Trump had recently signaled to confidants that he was going to dismiss Bannon but had not settled on a timeframe, according to another person who had discussed the matter with the president but was not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions and insisted on anonymity.

Bannon is the latest in a line of departures that includes former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer (though he is still temporarily working at the White House), former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, whose tenure lasted little more than a week.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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TimberTopper says... August 18, 2017 at 1:13 p.m.

Another one bites the dust.....

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BOLTAR says... August 18, 2017 at 1:26 p.m.

Another calcified monument to racism is expelled from public land.

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KjTucker says... August 18, 2017 at 1:32 p.m.

So much for the Wicked Witch of the East, now we just need to get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West (wing).

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carpenterretired says... August 18, 2017 at 2:11 p.m.

Hopefully Kelly will be another Robert Walpole (true Walpole had the advantage of George I not speaking English ,no twitter ,and George was sane) but the catch 22 for Kelly are Trump zombies that are like Jim Jones folks that stayed loyal and drank the cool aid and Trump being a sociopath . As to Spain in the 1930s the anti-fascists fought back (unlike Germany ) but the fascists won, moral to the tale sometimes evil wins.

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PopulistMom says... August 18, 2017 at 2:19 p.m.

Praise Jesus!

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Packman says... August 18, 2017 at 2:53 p.m.

President Trump continues to reward his voters that hoped he wouldn't play the game of tribalism. Steve Bannon thought the President wasn't conservative enough so he's taking his ball and going home to attack the President for being too far left. Meantime, the President will continue to be inundated with attacks from the left for being too far right. More and more it's looking like those of us independent thinkers that voted for Donald Trump in hopes he too would ignore the extreme ideologues and political elites on both sides of the aisle are being rewarded. Nice. Very nice.

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rubythecat96gmailcom says... August 18, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

He's one hard working man just take a look at all he had accomplished by the tender age of 29. wow. hard working and smart. never met the man personally but his resume is sure impressive If President Trump feels that Mr Bannon can no longer serve this great country its time for him to retire or move on and make more millions.

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gohogs17 says... August 18, 2017 at 4:31 p.m.

I guess the progs will love HIM now, especially if he sings.

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RBear says... August 18, 2017 at 5:02 p.m.

This WH continues to free fall in terms of trying to accomplish anything. Granted, Bannon was probably part of the problem so maybe some agenda items will start to move. But there's still Steve Miller, who is probably treading lightly around the West Wing.

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BoudinMan says... August 18, 2017 at 7:36 p.m.

Right, RB, and Sebastian Gorka and his wife should be forced to hit the bricks as well.

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