Hours after President Donald Trump reportedly fired Steve Bannon, his former campaign manager turned White House chief strategist, the latter went on the record to “clear… up” any confusion about his departure. After all, the majority of the internet and a rather vocal group of stock market traders were elated following the initial reports, though Bannon’s allies insisted the former Breitbart News executive had tendered his resignation and agreed to stay on for the subsequent transition. Either way, however, it seems Bannon won’t be leaving the public eye anytime soon.
Speaking with Devil’s Bargain author Joshua Green, Bannon began, “If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up”:
“I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”
Aside from avoiding Trump’s favorite word and insisting he would continue to fight for the president’s agenda against the administration’s three favorite targets (including his beloved “opposition party”), Bannon didn’t have much else to say. That probably isn’t good news for contraversial aide Sebastian Gorka, another former Breitbart stalwart turned White House staffer who may be next on Chief of Staff John Kelly’s chopping block. Then again, considering the ire his supposed firing generated among the Breitbart News staff, it might not be good news for the Trump administration either.
Whatever the case may be, Bannon should probably lay off the energy drinks.
UPDATE #1: Breitbart’s White House correspondent, Charlie Spiering took to Twitter to officially announce Bannon’s return to his old job as the right-wing news website’s executive chairman.
UPDATE #2: Bannon also spoke with The Weekly Standard following his White House exit. “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he said. “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.” The somewhat dour tone of these comments differs slightly from what Bloomberg reported.
Bannon also insisted he had resigned, and had not been fired, from his chief strategist gig:
“On August 7th , 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 the 14th,” he said. “I’d always planned on spending one year. General Kelly has brought in a great new system, but I said it would be best. I want to get back to Breitbart.”
So that’s at least 41 cans of Red Bull, right?