WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — President Donald Trump has fired White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon according to published reports.
The former Breibart News executive was a lightning rod for criticism for his alt-right views and links to white nationalists. He’s been credited with forming and amplifying the president’s controversial policies on nationalism and isolationism as well his views on Muslims.
Bannon was under fire after giving a series of interviews this week offering views on North Korea and China which contradicted President Trump’s pronouncements.
President Trump had been under pressure to oust Bannon following the Charlottesville violence and the president’s disjointed and much-criticized responses to the incidents in which he equated the white nationalist, Nazi and KKK protesters to counter-protesters.
The move comes just days after a senior White House aide said Bannon’s job was safe.
On Tuesday, President Trump gave only a tepid endorsement of Bannon while defending him against charges of racism and bigotry.
“He is not a racist. I can tell you that. He is a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard,” Trump said after being asked whether Bannon would stay on. “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon. He is a good person and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.”