A little before noon on Friday, the White House confirmed that Steve Bannon, the embattled “economic nationalist” whose mastery of Breitbart News helped get Donald Trump elected—thus planting the seed of his own demise—had tendered his resignation.
Bannon’s exit, while not unexpected, still sent shock waves across the political and media worlds. Would Trump moderate himself in the absence of the self-proclaimed “alt-right” architect, or had he always had such an appreciation for Confederate monuments and affinity for the white nationalists who have rallied around them? With subsequent reports that Bannon allies Sebastian Gorka and Julia Hahn, both former Breitbart employees, might also be on their way out the door, who would be left to counter
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s alleged neoconservative plots, or to undermine the “globalist” troika of Gary Cohn, Ivanka Trump, and Dina Powell? Perhaps most important for the president himself: Would Bannon, now unleashed back into the barbarian wilds from whence he came, return to wage war on the administration that ousted him?
Outside the White House, Bannon’s supporters, who had watched him struggle to enact his populist-nationalist agenda, were thrilled at the prospect. “This is good for the movement. This is good for populism,” gloated Lee Stranahan, a former Breitbart reporter, who predicted that once Bannon was gone, Trump would be able to see who was really against his agenda, because if he followed the advice of his remaining staffers, “his general approval will plummet.”
This reported was originally published on Vanity Fair for more.