“Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Kelly had earlier wrapped up a review of the West Wing staff and the former Breitbart editor, the voice of the alt-right who had the president’s ear, was the first casualty. “Bannon had one hell of a run,” tweeted Matt Drudge, who first reported the story.
Bannon had been on the outs with Trump before for grandstanding and stealing the spotlight, but the president suspected he was one of the main leakers in the administration, trashing his colleagues in news reports.
The notoriously thin-skinned president resented the publicity Bannon had been getting as the supposed mastermind of Trump’s campaign and upset victory. One White House source told Axios, “His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.”