One More Heavyweight Falls in Trump White House

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped Trump win the 2016 election by embracing their shared nationalist impulses, departed the White House on Friday after a turbulent tenure
One More Heavyweight Falls in Trump White House One More Heavyweight Falls in Trump White House

US President Donald Trump has presided over a White House plagued by turnover amid controversy and tumult.

His administration has seen a number of high-profile officials leave their posts sooner than expected. CNBC News reported.

In the latest episode, Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped Trump win the 2016 election by embracing their shared nationalist impulses, departed the White House on Friday after a turbulent tenure shaping the fiery populism of the president’s first seven months in office.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

To be sure, each exit was preceded by its own set of foreboding signs and circumstances. But the departures are generally preceded by growing reports of warring factions within the Oval Office.

Here’s a running list of top officials who have left Trump’s team, by choice or by force:

Sally Yates

Fired Jan. 30

Formerly acting attorney general

Trump fired Yates after she directed justice department lawyers not to defend his first executive order restricting travel for people from seven majority-Muslim nations. The president slammed Yates, saying she “betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

Yates previously served as deputy attorney general in the Obama administration. She then became acting attorney general, pending the confirmation of Jeff Sessions.

Michael Flynn

Resigned Feb. 13

Formerly national security advisor

Flynn left his role after days of intense scrutiny about his discussions with Russian officials prior to Trump’s inauguration. The Washington Post reported that he discussed US sanctions against Russia with then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Yates later testified under oath that she warned the White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. In his resignation letter, the former national security advisor admitted that he inadvertently misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his phone calls with Kislyak.

Preet Bharara

Fired March 11

Formerly U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York

Trump fired Bharara after the prosecutor refused to agree to the justice department’s demand that he and 45 other US attorneys submit their resignations. While it’s not unusual for a new administration to appoint its own federal prosecutors, the holdovers are not typically ousted all at once.

James Comey

Fired May 9

Formerly FBI director

Trump abruptly fired Comey amid multiple investigations into possible ties between his campaign and the Kremlin. The White House initially said Comey was removed on the recommendations of the top two officials in the Justice Department.

But Trump later told NBC News that he would have fired the longtime federal agent “regardless” of what the department said.

Michael Dubke

Resigned May 30

Formerly White House communications director

Dubke wrote in a note to associates that he originally tendered his resignation on May 18. He said that at that time he offered to remain in the role through the remainder of the president’s international trip.

Sean Spicer

Resigned July 21

Formerly White House press secretary

Spicer resigned after opposing the president’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. The longtime Republican operative said Trump had asked him to stay in his role.

His successor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Spicer left to give the communications team a clean slate.

Reince Priebus

Resigned July 27

Formerly chief of staff

Priebus “formally resigned” after the president repeatedly pressured him to exert order on a tumultuous White House. His exit came on the heels of Scaramucci’s appointment as White House communications director.

Despite multiple reports of tension, Scaramucci and Priebus insisted that they were friends. Scaramucci described their relationship as brotherly and that it’s expected the two men would “rough each other up once in awhile.”

Anthony Scaramucci

Ousted July 31

Formerly White House communications director

Scaramucci was removed as White House communications director just 10 days after he was appointed and well before his previously scheduled Aug. 15 start date.

The bombastic New York financier exited his post shortly after he unloaded on Priebus and then-chief strategist Steve Bannon in an expletive-laden rant to a New Yorker reporter.

Steve Bannon

Departed Aug. 18

Formerly White House chief strategist

Bannon initially submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, a person close to him told The New York Times. The newspaper said the announcement of his departure had been delayed after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

Bannon, a nationalist firebrand, helped shape Trump’s populist rhetoric which fueled his rise to the Oval Office. But in the weeks leading up to his exit, reports surfaced of Bannon’s influence waning as the president grew increasingly angry with him.


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