Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is facing increasing isolation within administration, prompting questions over how long the former Breitbart chairman can last at the White House, the New York Times Reports.
Trump, who the Times notes “has a long history of turning quickly on subordinates,” has apparently tuned on Bannon—conservative media darling who’s been long-heralded as the president’s “Great Manipulator.”
“Bannon is a brilliant pirate who has had a huge impact,” Newt Gingrich said of the chief strategist. “But White Houses, in the end, are like the U.S. Navy—corporate structures and very hard on pirates.”
According to sources that spoke with the Times and the Washington Post, Trump’s comments to the New York Post Tuesday—wherein the president insisted he is his own strategist and relegated “nice guy” Bannon’s role to “a guy who works for me”—were meant to put the chief strategist in his place.
Reports of Bannon’s potential ouster have been circulating in recent weeks as clashing power structures—most notably between Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner—became clearer. The president on Tuesday insisted he told the pair to “straighten it out or I will.”
There’s concern that ousting Bannon would upset core Trump supporters—hard-right conservatives who took a liking to the president’s populist, anti-globalist approach championed by Bannon. During a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the anti-globalist platform was notably absent from the president’s dialogue.
“I think firing Bannon would be a huge mistake for Trump,” conservative radio host Steve Deace told the Times. “Hell hath no fury like a Bannon scorned.”