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Steve Bannon leaves turbulent White House

A file photo of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

A file photo of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.   | Photo Credit: AP

Chief Strategist has been locked in feud with administration

Stephen Bannon, widely credited with being a key architect of President Donald Trump’s election victory last year, was ousted as White House Chief Strategist on Friday.

Mr. Bannon, the leader of the ultra-nationalist group within the Trump camp, has been locked in a running feud with career diplomats and military strategists in the administration and his future had been a topic of prolonged speculation in the U.S capital.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today [Frifay] would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, that appeared to leave the circumstances ambiguous.

Wings clipped

Mr. Bannon’s wings were clipped after Mr. Kelly took over as the Chief of Staff three weeks ago. In the reorganised White House hierarchy, Mr. Bannon was forced to report to Mr. Kelly. The exit appears to have been triggered by an interview he gave to a left-leaning publication this week, where he spoke about the need for creating a wider alliance of forces opposed to global trade and in support of economic nationalism.

In the interview, Mr. Bannon also contradicted the President’s position on North Korea. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.,” he told American Prospect.

“Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralise rivals at the Departments of Defence, State and Treasury,” Robert Kuttner, who interviewed him, wrote.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:15:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/steve-bannon-leaves-turbulent-white-house/article19520195.ece

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