Bannon, a controversial figure linked to the extreme right and populism, left office on Friday, August 18, 2017, after losing in the last weeks the trust of US President Donald Trump. EFE / Jim Lo Scalzo / ARCHIVE
On Friday, President Trump fired his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon - who was responsible for the success of his presidential campaign in 2016 - as part of the ongoing White House restructuring.
Bannon was a key player in the president's most contentious policies since his arrival in Washington, including the immigration ban against citizens from Muslim-majority countries; the abandonment of the Paris Agreement; the disruption of trade agreements, and the reinforcement of measures against undocumented immigrants.
Bannon's nationalistic and racist stances were publicly known and his appointment within the White House team was always perceived as a nod by the President to extreme right radicalism. After the events in Charlottesville, the departure of the chief strategist was more than expected.
But Bannon had become a pain in the neck inside the White House, mainly because of his conflicts with the more conservative wing of the Republican Party and his incapacity to reach agreements with other factions within the team.
According to the Washington Post, Bannon's farewell would have been scheduled by the new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, "in an effort to control belligerent factions and bring stability to a White House at risk of sinking under its self-destructive tendencies".
Meanwhile, White House officials said Bannon's fate was "sealed" the moment when liberal magazine American Prospect issued his comments against his adversaries within the administration and against the activists of the radical right, which was perceived by the president as a further attempt by his chief strategist to self-promote independently and separate from the team to which he belonged.
After bidding farewell to his job for a year and a day, Bannon returned to his duties as executive director of the far-right digital portal Breitbart News, on Friday afternoon, according to Reuters. The reaction of one of the site's editors, Joel Pollak, to Bannon's farewell was to write on his Twitter account the word "WAR", echoing the suspicions of many who intuit that Bannon will use his platform – which he calls his "machine to kill" - to open media fire against his opponents in the Trump administration.
Bannon's departure is the latest in a series of consecutive layoffs, and is part of the symptomatology of an administration that succumbs to pressure and whose ideological bases, individualisms and internal fights prevent any progress in political planning.