Trump fires White House top strategist Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon has been fired at President Trump’s top White House strategist

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the latest top aide of President Donald Trump to leave his post.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Friday was his last day.

His exit follows a review of his position by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Mr Bannon, who helped shape Mr Trump’s “America First” campaign message, is returning as head of Breitbart.com, and says he will remain loyal.

The 63-year-old is executive chairman of the website, which has been accused of voicing anti-Semitic and white supremacist views.

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In another departure from Mr Trump’s team, billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced he was ending his role as the president’s special advisor on regulatory reform, after facing criticism that his advice could benefit his own businesses.

Who else left Trump’s White House team?

Anthony Scaramucci, communications director – 31 July

Reince Priebus, chief of staff – 28 July

Sean Spicer, press secretary – 21 July

Mike Dubke, communications director, 30 May

Michael Flynn, national security adviser – 14 February

Mr Bannon is known to have competed for influence in the West Wing against more moderate factions, including members of the Trump family.

Steve Bannon helped shape President Trump’s “America First” campaign message

He told the Bloomberg TV network: “I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents – on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”

Mr Trump raised eyebrows earlier this year when he elevated Mr Bannon to the National Security Council, the main group advising the president on national security and foreign affairs.

But he was subsequently removed from the council in a move that was seen as a sign of National Security Adviser HR McMaster’s growing influence over the president.

Mr Bannon has reportedly feuded with Mr McMaster as well as Gary Cohn, the director of the president’s National Economic Council and a former Goldman Sachs chief viewed as a globalist.

Mr Cohn, along with President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter, Ivanka Trump, were viewed as threats to Mr Bannon’s White House agenda.

Mr Trump fuelled speculation when asked last week about Mr Bannon’s future as he replied: “We’ll see.”

Mr Bannon’s interview this week with the American Prospect, a liberal magazine, reportedly infuriated the president.

The White House aide was quoted as dismissing the idea of a military solution in North Korea, undercutting Mr Trump.

He told the magazine the US was “at economic war with China” and that he aimed to push out moderates whom he believed were soft on China.

Mr Bannon told associates he thought it was an off-the-record chat and did not realise he would be quoted.

He has pushed for imposing additional tariffs on China and other trade partners to reduce deficits with those countries.

He also advocated for a travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries.

Ms Huckabee Sanders’ statement said: “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day.

“We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

Source familiar with the decision said Mr Bannon had been given the chance to leave on his own terms.