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Saturday, August 19, 2017, 18:16
White House Chief Strategist Bannon steps down
By Xinhua
Saturday, August 19, 2017, 18:16 By Xinhua

In this photo taken Feb 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump's then-White House Senior Adviser Stephen Bannon arrives for a news conference with Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (ANDREW HARNIK / AP)

WASHINGTON - The White House said Friday Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon will leave his job.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," she added.

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the details of Bannon's departure, some reports said Bannon had submitted his resignation on Aug 7, while other reports indicated Bannon had been fired by President Donald Trump.

Controversy surrounding Bannon's role in the White House have been mounting in recent months, and was heightened after a race-related clash in Charlottesville over the weekend resulted in three deaths.

When asked about whether Bannon's position in the White House was secure Tuesday, Trump said "we'll see what happens."

Bannon grossly misreads US-China relations and Trump's policy towards Asia. I do not think his words about 'economic war with China' represents Trump's policy

 Zhiqun Zhu, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bucknell University

Trump was reportedly furious with Bannon after he contradicted the president's view on several issues including US-China trade ties in an unusual interview Wednesday with The American Prospect.

ALSO READ: Bannon's self-imposed war is over

"He apparently was sidelined by Trump in the past few months and he has many opponents both in and outside of the Trump administration, so he was probably just venting his frustration by making eye-catching news," Zhiqun Zhu, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bucknell University told Xinhua on Thursday. "In fact, he is not sure whether he can keep his job at this point."

"Bannon grossly misreads US-China relations and Trump's policy towards Asia. I do not think his words about 'economic war with China' represents Trump's policy," said Zhu.

Bannon is the latest heavyweight to leave the Trump administration, after National Security advisor Michael Flynn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, two Communications Director Dubke and Scaramucci, and FBI Director James Comey have stepped down.

Analysts believe Bannon's departure is expected to create big ripples inside the Trump administration as this may indicate a separation between government policies and nationalistic ideas Bannon advocates.

Allies of Bannon in the administration are also expected to follow Bannon's exit, according to local reports.

Bannon, former head of right-wing media Breitbart, was recruited by Trump during the campaign, and played a major role in developing domestic and international policies for the Trump administration. 

    



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