Ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has told friends
he wants to create a network that leans further right than Fox
News, Axios reported on
Saturday. It’s unclear whether it will be a TV network like Fox
News, or one that exclusively streams online.
The White House confirmed Bannon’s departure from President
Donald Trump’s administration on Friday.
“White House chief of staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon
have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White
House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
said in a statement
“We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
Breitbart’s White House correspondent Charlie
that Bannon returned to Breitbart News as executive chairman, and
chaired the outlet’s evening editorial meeting.
News of Bannon weighing establishing a network that leans
more conservative than Fox News comes two months after it was
reported that Roger Ailes, Fox News’ deceased ex-CEO, wanted the same
Axios reported that in the days before his death, Ailes
reached out to Bannon, who was still in the White House at that
point, about teaming up to form a new conservative media machine
in the mold of Fox News. Bannon reportedly had “no desire to
leave” the administration.
Now that he’s out of the White House, Bannon told
Bloomberg that he was “going to war for Trump against
his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate
“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over
… I feel jacked up … Now I’m free,” Bannon told The Weekly
Standard shortly after he was ousted on Friday.
Bannon’s future at the White House appeared to be in
jeopardy long before he left. He was rumored to have been behind
the far-right’s smear campaign against national security adviser
H.R. McMaster, and he’d long had a contentious relationship with
the more moderate wing in the White House, which consists of
senior economic adviser Gary Cohn — whom Bannon reportedly
referred to as “Globalist Gary” — son-in-law and senior adviser
Jared Kushner, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
The final straw, however, appeared to be when Bannon gave
interview to The American Prospect, a left-leaning
In the interview, Bannon lashed out National Economic
Council Director Gary Cohn, contradicted the
president on North Korea, and called white
nationalists a “collection of clowns” and “losers.” He
also said he hoped Democrats “talk about racism every
“The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,”
Bannon told The Prospect. “I want them to talk about racism every
day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with
economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
The interview reportedly further incensed Trump, who
was already irritated at Bannon for participating in Josh Green’s
book, “The Devil’s Bargain,” which cast Bannon as being
significantly responsible for Trump’s victory in the November
Asked during his Tuesday press conference about Bannon’s status
in the administration, Trump said, “We’ll see.”
“Look, look — I like Mr. Bannon,” Trump said. “He’s a friend of
mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late. You know that. I went
through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr.
Bannon came on very much later than that.”
“And I like him,” he continued. “He’s a good man. He is not
a racist. I can tell you that. He’s a good person. He actually
gets a very unfair press in that regard. But we’ll see what
happens with Mr. Bannon. But he’s a good person, and I think the
press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.”
Three days after the press conference, Bannon was out.