Late this week, President Donald Trump began telling senior staffers and outside confidants that he intended to sack Steve Bannon, the nationalist firebrand and White House chief strategist who helped steer Trump’s chaotic presidential campaign to victory.
Two Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast on Friday that the president has said that he wanted Bannon “out” and “gone” this week.
On Friday afternoon, they made it official, with chief of staff John Kelly informing Bannon of the change in direction.
Bannon did not respond to requests for comment on this story, but multiple reporters tweeted that Bannon had told them he had submitted his resignation on August 7, with an effective date of August 14—exactly one year to the date of him joining Trump on the 2016 campaign. Per the Team Bannon narrative, he stayed on through the week to help with the chaos in the wake of the white-supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” read a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
The confusing, competing narratives over the timing of Bannon’s departure is an appropriate coda to White House stint that has been increasingly chaotic for months. Bannon has butted heads for months with various senior administration officials, including Trump family member Jared Kushner. If he knew he was leaving the White House early in August, he wasn’t telling close allies and associates.
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