After working for a year alongside now-President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon left his White House role on Friday to return to his previous post. Bannon joined the Trump campaign last August, transitioning from campaign official to White House strategist after the election. Now that he's out of the West Wing, Bannon is now back at Breitbart News, his former haven in the ultra-conservative news media.
The president acknowledged Bannon's return to Breitbart on Twitter over the weekend. "Steve Bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at Breitbart News...maybe even better than before," President Trump tweeted on Saturday. In another tweet, the president thanked Bannon for his service to the campaign.
Several news reports late last week declared that Bannon had been fired by the president after just seven months in office. In an interview with The Weekly Standard, though, Bannon maintained that his departure was planned, as his one-year workiversary with Trump approached. Speaking to the conservative publication, Bannon expressed his desire to return to Breitbart.
On August 7th, I talked to [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and to the president, and I told them that my resignation would be effective the following Monday, on the 14th. I'd always planned on spending one year. General Kelly has brought in a great new system, but I said it would be best. I want to get back to Breitbart.
In moving back to Breitbart, Bannon returns as the controversial news source's executive chair. While he previously chaired the organization, Breitbart published such headlines as "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy," and "Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage." The far-right news source has continued its startling headlines in Bannon's absence, but now that the former White House strategist is back, it will be interesting to see the relationship between Breitbart and the Trump administration.
Trump has famously battled the media throughout his time in office, dubbing mainstream outlets like CNN and The New York Times as "fake news." Over the Fourth of July holiday last month, Trump turned a patriotic event into an opportunity to villianize the media, saying, "The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them." Not to mention, he also shared a GIF that showed him physically attacking CNN.
Given Trump's relationship with the press, Bannon's return to Breitbart begs a set of obvious questions: Will the president favor Breitbart in his encounters with the media? Or, will Trump continue to distance himself from Bannon?
As Bannon just returned to his old job on Friday, it seems that only time will tell.