Ousted White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Saturday said the Trump presidency that the right-wing conservatives helped make a reality is “over” and the president would now be “moderated” by the Republicans. Bannon, who headed the controversial right-wing website ‘Breitbart News’ before joining the Trump administration, also denied that he was fired from the key position.
Hours after he left the White House, 63-year-old Bannon returned to Breitbart News as its executive chairman and also chaired the company’s evening editorial meeting yesterday. “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he told the conservative outlet Weekly Standard. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over,” said Bannon, who is generally perceived as the driving force behind Trump’s “nationalist” ideology.
Bannon says that his departure was voluntary, and that he had planned it to coincide with the one-year anniversary of his joining the Trump campaign as chief executive, on August 14, 2016. “On August 7, I talked to [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and to the President, and I told them that my resignation would be effective the following Monday, on 14th,” he said.
The former White House chief strategist said that the fight is just the beginning. “I feel jacked up. Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt…” he said.
Bannon predicted that Trump would now be moderated by the Republicans. “I think they’re going to try to moderate him.” “I think that…his (Trump’s) actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you’re going to see a lot of constraints on that. It will be much more conventional,” Bannon said.
Buoyed by Bannon’s return, Breitbart News CEO and President Larry Solov said: “Breitbart’s pace of global expansion will only accelerate with Steve back. The sky’s the limit.” Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said, “the populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today and the magazine gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a brief statement did not explain the reasons for Bannon’s departure. “White House 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,” Sanders said.