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Steve Bannon Out At Breitbart News

Steve Bannon, former strategist for President Trump, has left his job at Breitbart News.
Ringo H.W. Chiu
Steve Bannon, former strategist for President Trump, has left his job at Breitbart News.

Updated at 7:10 pm. ET

Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, a conservative website for which he had served as executive chairman.

The departure had been widely rumored and anticipated since Bannon was quoted in author Michael Wolff 's new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which was critical of President Trump.

Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said, "Steve is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions and what he has helped us to accomplish."

"I'm proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform," said Bannon.

But the end of Bannon's tenure at Breitbart came amid tension between the White House and the former strategist who had fashioned himself as the general leading the rebellion against the GOP establishment on Trump's behalf.

Bannon was named executive chairman of Breitbart News in 2012. He joined the Trump campaign in August 2016. When he left the White House a year later, Bannon returned to Breitbart, which he had called a "platform for the alt-right." He later called the alt-right "a collection of clowns."

In Wolff's book, Bannon was quoted as saying, among other things, a meeting of Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump associates with a group of Russians at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign was "treasonous."

Suddenly, the operative who once enjoyed ultimate insider status in the West Wing and sat in on National Security Council meetings found himself on the outside being ridiculed by Trump as "Sloppy Steve."

As NPR's David Folkenflik reported on All Things Considered soon after the news of Bannon's ouster was reported:

A day earlier, Wolff told NPR's Kelly McEvers on All Things Considered, that Bannon saw Trump as his "vessel" to change Washington and the country:

As NPR's Susan Davis reported on Morning Edition, Bannon became a huge distraction for President Trump and Republican lawmakers who hoped to turn their attention, and the nation's attention, to their political agenda for 2018.

Bannon had apparently hoped to weather the storm of criticism from fellow Trump loyalists.

"Bannon's departure from Breitbart came as a shock to some of his allies. One said Bannon was telling people as recently as Monday that he expected to stay on," reported the Associated Press.

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Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.