President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has left the White House and rejoined the far-right-wing website Breitbart News as the executive chairman. Breitbart has been described as an online haven for white nationalists, which frequently publishes far-right-wing and white nationalist propaganda. Bannon has been one of Trump’s closest and most trusted advisers.
After departing the White House, he said, “In many ways I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on. And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with.” In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Bannon also said he feels “jacked up” now that he’s returned to Breitbart, saying, “I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ’It’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition.” He also said, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”
His departure came after a series of meetings last week with billionaire funder Robert Mercer, who funds Breitbart and funded Trump’s campaign. Bannon met with Mercer Wednesday, and Trump met with Mercer on Thursday. Bannon departed the White House Friday. Later that day, billionaire investor Carl Icahn also left his role as regulatory adviser to President Trump, just before The New Yorker published an article entitled “Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington.” The article detailed Carl Icahn’s potential conflicts of interest, including his heavy lobbying for a rule change about blending ethanol into gasoline, a rule which affects the profits of Icahn’s Texas-based petroleum refining company.
Bannon and Icahn’s departures are only the latest in a series of ousters and resignations of top Trump officials, including two communications directors, Mike Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci; Press Secretary Sean Spicer; National Security Adviser Michael Flynn; Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland; Chief of Staff Reince Priebus; Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh; and five other high-level officials. Trump also fired FBI Director James Comey and acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Trump is now also facing pressure to oust his senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and national security aide Sebastian Gorka over their ties to white nationalists and extremist views.