US President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon quit his position on Friday. He became the fourth high profile White House official to have deserted the Trump administration.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci have already tendered in their resignation in the recent weeks.
Bannon, 63, who played a key role in the electoral victory of Trump last year.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day…We are grateful for his service and wish him the best” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The announcement of Bannon’s dismissal comes three days after Trump praised him.
“I like him (Banon), he’s a good man,” Trump had said. He also said that press treated him “very unfairly.”
The sudden departure of Bannon, a former editor of right- wing Breitbart news website, from the White House was celebrated by Democratic leaders and civil rights activists, who described this as a welcome step. Democrats have been demanding that Trump fire all the right-wing nationalists within the White House.
“Steve Bannon’s firing is welcome news, but it doesn’t disguise where President Trump himself stands on white supremacists and the bigoted beliefs they advance,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said.
“President Trump’s growing record of repulsive statements is matched by his repulsive policies. Personnel changes are worthless so long as President Trump continues to advance policies that disgrace our cherished American values…The Trump administration must not only purge itself of the remaining white supremacists on staff, but abandon the bigoted ideology that clearly governs its decisions,” Pelosi added.
Congresswoman from Washington and India American Pramila Jayapal had been pushing for a resolution to oust the supporters of white supremacy from Trump’s staff.
“On Tuesday, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal filed a resolution demanding Trump fire staff who have supported white supremacists. And today Bannon is out. Pramila’s resolution played a key role in putting pressure on Bannon and the White House to respond after Charlottesville,” her office said.
Former top American diplomat Nicholas Burns also laude Banon’s ouster.
“He (Bannon) is wrong on immigration/refugees; Islam; trade+US role as global power. But Trump shares all his views,” he tweeted.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley said Bannon should have never been given the honour of working in the White House and serving the Office of the President of the US.
(With inputs from agencies)