WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon arrives before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ousted From National Security Council, Steve Bannon is Not Going Away Quietly

Oh, my.

Wednesday’s big news may have been the ouster of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council.

Just Bannon’s inclusion on the council stirred up controversy, as many saw it as a move that politicized the council.

At the time, Bannon’s inclusion coincided with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the directory of national intelligence having their roles downgraded.

With Bannon’s abrupt boot from his perch, those roles have been reinstated.

Anonymous sources within the White House with knowledge of the move are now saying Bannon was so upset over his decreased role, that he threatened to quit.

To be honest, I can’t see Steve Bannon giving up his seat at the table that makes up President Trump’s inner circle. He’s exerted a considerable amount of influence over the president’s day-to-day. Bannon later confirmed that by saying reports that he was prepared to quit are “100% nonsense.”

I thought so.

What has emerged, however, is a further story of warring camps within the White House, with those who are loyal to Bannon and his alt-right vision on one side, and those who have declared allegiance to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on the other.

The Hill reported on a story from Axios earlier today, detailing the split.

“Steve has developed strong and important relationships with some of the most powerful right-leaning business leaders,” a close Bannon ally outside the White House said. “I see some bad press in [Kushner’s] future.”

A senior White House official confirmed Wednesday that Trump had removed Bannon from his NSC role, approving a decision suggested by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Bannon has a reputation as a pugnacious, often nasty player.

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told associates “I love a gunfight” within 24 hours of his ouster from the National Security Council, according to a Thursday report.

That would suggest he’s not afraid to get down-and-dirty in the struggle to serve as Trump’s brain.

This one isn’t over by a long shot, and it’s the kind of political intrigue that they make feature films about, so just stay tuned.

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Susan Wright

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