White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is abruptly leaving the White House, after the administration said he and Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly (ret.) "mutually agreed that today would be Steve's last day."
"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," read a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. The news was first reported by The Drudge Report and quickly followed by The New York Times.
There are conflicting reports about when and how the White House and Bannon came to the decision, but the controversial former head of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart has appeared to cross in and out of the firing line several times in President Donald Trump's young presidency.
Bannon most recently made headlines earlier this week when he appeared to undercut Trump's tough talk on North Korea by telling a liberal magazine there was no military option to solving the Korea crisis.
"Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us," Bannon reportedly said.
In the same interview, which Bannon reportedly later said he didn't realize was on the record, Bannon said China was "everything" when it came to the next few decades in geopolitics. Earlier this week Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum asking the U.S. Trade Representative to "investigate China's laws, policies, practices, and actions" -- an action in line with Bannon's strategy to take on the economic giant. It's left to be seen what impact Bannon's absence in the White House will have on Trump's policies towards China.