Bannon’s White House exit—the latest in a string of personnel changes that have occurred in Trump’s administration in recent weeks—comes amid an ongoing crisis in the White House over the president’s remarks regarding white supremacists.
The New York Times first reported that Trump decided to remove Bannon, a notorious right-wing nationalist, from his post. However, a person close to Bannon told the Times that he submitted his resignation letter on Aug. 7. The announcement was reportedly delayed when violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, after white supremacists held a rally in the small college town.
Bannon, the former head of “alt-right” website Brietbart, had reportedly been in a number of internal conflicts with several of high-ranking members of Trump’s administration—including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The New York Post reports that Trump suspected Bannon was one of the leakers within his administration.
Earlier this week, Trump called the former adviser a “friend” and said he was “not a racist” during a press conference in Trump Tower where he infamously said there was blame to be shared on “both sides” in Charlottesville.
Trump’s new chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, had been reviewing the staff in the West Wing, according to reports.
Bannon’s ouster follows a number of high-profile administration officials to leave the White House including former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.