Steve Bannon, the chief White House strategist, has been removed from President Donald Trump's National Security Council's principals committee because he was reportedly "grabbing the limelight" from the president.
Trump's chief strategist was officially axed from the principals committee on April 5, according to a security memo confirmed by the White House, the Daily Mail reported. The move reverses a previous internal policy decision made at the beginning of the Trump administration.
According to an unnamed senior administration official, Bannon's removal from the committee was a long-expected development. The official said Bannon was originally brought on to help "de-operationalize" Michael Flynn, Trump's original choice for national security advisor, who resigned three weeks into the job after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
But Fox News has another theory regarding Bannon's departure.
"We are also told, though, that maybe the president wasn't particularly happy with the way that Bannon had been grabbing the limelight, and that may have also played into all of this," Fox correspondent John Roberts said on the air, according to the Daily Mail.
Bannon was a controversial figure in the Trump administration. He sparked backlash for his comments about power and the media.
"Darkness is good: Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power," Bannon told The Hollywood Reporter after the presidential elections. "It only helps us when [the media and liberals] get it wrong. When they're blind of who we are and what we're doing."
He also added that the media is "just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no f***ing idea of what's going on."
In January, Bannon told The New York Times that the media "should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."
"I want you to quote this," he continued. "The media here is the opposition party. They don't understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States."
Bannon was reportedly ousted by current National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond "H. R." McMaster. Bannon reportedly threatened to quit if he was removed from the principals committee, although staffers deny the report, according to The New York Times.
“He didn’t belong on the principals committee to begin with -- doesn’t really belong in the White House at all,” Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The New York Times. “I hope that this is a sign that McMaster is taking control of the National Security Council.”