Trump Fires Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
By: Ariel Wodarcyk
After taking a brief break from the spotlight, President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon has now been fired by Mr. Trump. This week, Bannon was back in the news—this time because his job security was on shaky ground, as reported by the New York Times. According to the report, Bannon constantly clashed with other senior-officials in the White House. Bannon also faced public opposition from those who saw him as too closely affiliated with the alt-right movement.
The Times reported that before Trump finally addressed the white supremacist rally that took place this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, he consulted Bannon, who throughout his career as chief strategist has told the president to go easy on the far-right so as not to alienate part of the MAGA community. Trump took Bannon’s message quite literally this time, and delivered a speech in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence caused by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.
In the wake of Charlottesville, pressure continued to mount for Trump to fire Bannon. The hashtag #FireBannon was trending on Twitter Sunday night, and multiple senators, media outlets, and other political figures have called for his removal from the White House. Bannon is currently in what the Times called an “internal exile”, and has not met with Trump in person within the past week. This is a long stretch of time for a man whose constant presence at Trump’s side earned him the title, “The Great Manipulator” from Time magazine and a comparison to the Grim Reaper on SNL.
Before joining the Trump administration, Bannon was executive chair of Breitbart News, a far-right website that has perpetuated violent racial stereotypes, denied recent global warming changes, wrongfully condemned the Southern Poverty Law Center, and mocked Barack Obama for publicly denouncing gun violence, among other things. In Bannon’s own words, Breitbart News is “the platform for the alt-right.”
Firing Steve Bannon does not make Donald Trump any less of a racist, but it will take some power away from one racist, nationalistic Bannon. It may also delegitimize those who attempt to justify reading Breitbart News by saying the publication was once run by the chief strategist of the White House, when in reality they are reading it because they too, are racists.