White House chief strategist Steve Bannon may have suffered a public humiliation by being kicked off the National Security Council, but that doesn't mean President Donald Trump's top aide is going down without a fight.
Bannon has been telling various associates, "I love a gunfight" in the aftermath of his removal from the National Security Council, according to a report by Axios. He has also told his associates that rumors about his feeling frustrated and wanting to quit are "100 percent nonsense" and he intends on not only persevering but also winning.
Axios reported that the White House is divided between two factions, the populists and the pragmatists, which are informally led by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, respectively.
"The Bannonites believe the liberals staged a coup and will turn Trump into a conventional squish who betrays the very voters who brought him to power," Axios reported. "The Jared wing thinks the Bannonites are clinically nuts."
Staunchly supporting Bannon are White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, policy adviser Stephen Miller, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Bannon, who formerly ran Breitbart News, also has relationships with influential right-wing business and media connections outside the White House. One Bannon ally told Axios, "I see some bad press in [Jared's] future."
In addition to Bannon's reported feud with Kushner, other theories are being circulated about why he was removed from the National Security Council. Some argue that it was the influence of national security adviser H. R. McMaster, while others believe that Trump became upset at Bannon's growing reputation as a power behind the throne in the White House.