Politics

Report: Trump Might Fire Bannon, Priebus

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump is considering firing two of his closest advisers.

According to Axios, Trump might relieve chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief-of-staff Reince Priebus of their duties.

"Things are happening, but it's very unclear the president's willing to pull that trigger," an anonymous administration official told the news site.

The rumor comes shortly after Trump removed Bannon from the National Security Council, one day before the president unleashed 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian government's air base.

On April 5, Trump removed Bannon from the National Security Council’s cabinet-level "principals committee," according to the New York Times. The move was reportedly orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the president's national security adviser, who was not comfortable with having a political adviser in the Situation Room where military decisions are made.

But Bannon and associates close to him insist that his removal from the National Security Council was not a result of political infighting or a downgrade in his stature in the eyes of the president.

Rather, they insist that Bannon's appointment to the National Security Council was to keep an eye on retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser who was ousted after it was revealed he had communicated with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

But after his removal from the National Security Council, Bannon said his job was done and offered a different explanation for his role.

"Susan Rice operationalized the N.S.C. during the last administration," Bannon said in a statement, according to the New York Times. "I was put on the N.S.C. with General Flynn to ensure that it was de-operationalized. General McMaster has returned the N.S.C. to its proper function."

The New York Times reported that it's not clear what "operationalized" meant.

But Bannon has received additional negative press in recent days.

According to the Daily Beast, an anonymous source in the administration said Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is trying to "shiv [Bannon] and push him out the door."

In turn, Bannon has also reportedly been highly critical of Kushner.

"[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a 'globalist' and a 'c***'…He actually said 'c***,' as in 'c***servative,'" the anonymous official told the Daily Beast.

Axios didn't name any potential replacements for Bannon. But if Preibus is removed from his chief-of-staff position, Axios reported that potential replacements include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who was one of the first congressional leaders to back Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and has since remained close to the president.

Sources: Axios, New York Times, Daily Beast / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr
 

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