New reports released Friday afternoon indicate that controversial presidential adviser Steve Bannon is leaving the White House, following public calls for his firing after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. It's unclear at this time whether Bannon will return to Breitbart, his previous job before joining the Trump campaign, but it may be one of the few places where he could continue to work.
According to NBC News correspondent Gabriel Sherman, a source close to Bannon says that he will return to Breitbart, where he worked as the company's executive director for five years. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that Bannon will be supporting Trump from his new position. Sherman also reported that Breitbart is gearing up for war against Bannon's former allies. "It's now a Democrat White House," the source said, according to Sherman.
According to The New York Times, a Bannon insider "insisted" that he quit nearly two weeks ago and that the announcement of his resignation was supposed to be made at the beginning of this week. The timing would certainly be a coincidence — the latest round of the #FireBannon social media movement happened this past weekend in response to the events in Charlottesville. Bannon's history as an alleged anti-Semite has been well-documented in recent months, and some claim that he intentionally allowed neo-Nazi rhetoric to flourish within Breitbart's digital community.
Bannon's version of events may be challenged, however, if Trump has anything to say about it. The same thing happened earlier this year, when Trump contradicted his own version of events regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey during an interview with NBC News. For months, Bannon has been at odds with Trump and his family, so it wouldn't be too surprising to see Trump spin a narrative that paints himself in a more positive light.
Many people are relieved to see Bannon ousted from the White House, but the instability and power vacuum he could leave behind may be just as concerning as his presence in the White House. Bannon is the eighth senior adviser to leave the Trump administration, and the White House is already struggling to accomplish even minor executive goals. The future of the administration is in serious jeopardy, and the potential directions forward aren't much of a comfort. Unless Trump's own resignation comes shortly after Bannon's, the White House could be floundering to recover from this loss for a while.