Steve Bannon has built a lucrative career as an outspoken advocate and defender of white male privilege, but his strategy of pandering to the nation’s inner nationalist-racist demon that helped Donald Trump win the presidency is increasingly becoming a problem for the administration.
So will the president finally boot Bannon from the White House?
According to some insiders, Trump is hesitant to kick out a man who is held in such high esteem among the president’s key constituency of alt-right supporters. Bannon headed the popular right-wing news site Breitbart before joining Trump’s presidential election campaign.
“The president obviously is very nervous and afraid of firing him,” a White House insider told Reuters. As Trump’s popularity tanks, he could be hesitant to alienate his hard-right base by firing one of their own.
On Tuesday, during a heated press conference where Trump offered unequivocal support to the swastika-waving nationalists that descended on Charlottesville last weekend, the president hinted at yet another White House shakeup.
"We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Trump said during the event at Trump Tower in New York when asked about Bannon’s fate in the wake of widespread condemnation of the president’s response to the clashed in Charlottesville.
For months Bannon has jockeyed for influence against Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s national security advisor and is said to have an acrimonious relationship with Jared Kushner, the president’s closest advisor and son-in-law.
The latest Gallup tracking poll shows Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 34 percent, down from 37 percent last week.