President Donald Trump has told his aides that he has decided to remove White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
According to The New York Times, two administration officials have revealed that Trump and senior White House officials had been debating how and when to dismiss Bannon from his position.
Bannon and Trump, as well as members of the president's family and administration, have clashed for several months. A recent interview in which Bannon contradicted the president's position on North Korea and criticized his colleagues may have contributed to Trump's decision.
A source close to Bannon told The New York Times that Bannon insists his exit was his own idea and that he submitted his resignation to Trump on Aug. 7, which was to be announced at the beginning of that week. However, the announcement was delayed due to the racial unrest and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Bannon is considered to be largely influential on a number of the president's policies -- specifically, his proposals to overhaul free trade deals and his stance on immigration. Bannon also encouraged the president to reduce government regulations.
Bannon's nationalist policies have been controversial and have contradicted with other White House officials whose views are more closely aligned with the mainstream views of the Republican Party.
According to CNBC, Trump believes that Bannon may be responsible for some of the leaks intended to hurt his White House colleagues. Breitbart News, the right-ring news outlet of which Bannon was executive chairmen prior to his involvement with Trump's campaign and administration, published a number of stories attacking Trump's national security adviser, H. R. McMaster.
It has also been reported that a Time magazine cover featuring Bannon, who is referred to by the magazine as "the great manipulator," bothered Trump.
A source close to Bannon said that following his departure, Bannon may use his influence in the media to lash out at those he perceives as enemies to the president and his agenda. The source said to "get ready for Bannon the barbarian."