President Donald Trump on Saturday responded to the departure of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist the day before.
Bannon had left the White House following months of reported clashes with other members of the administration. Bannon and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had agreed on Friday to be Bannon’s last day.
“I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton—it was great!” Trump tweeted.
Trump had appointed Bannon as his campaign chairman in August last year after Paul Manafort had resigned.
Immediately following his departure from the White House, Bannon reassumed his position as executive chair of Breitbart News. That same evening he hosted the website’s editorial meeting. Axios reported that Bannon might expand his scope beyond Breitbart and start a TV network to the right of Fox.
“Steve Bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at @BreitbartNews…maybe even better than ever before,” Trump said in a different Tweet, adding that the “Fake News needs the competition!”
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents,” Bannon told Bloomberg reporter Joshua Green after leaving the White House.
Bannon specifically said he will go after Trump’s opponents “on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”
“I’ve got my hands back on my weapons,” Bannon told The Weekly Standard.
Bannon came to political activism after serving as a naval officer (1976–1983), then working as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and as a media entrepreneur. He earned a master’s in national security studies from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
He has made several films with political themes and through the Government Accountability Institute, which he co-founded, he helped arrange the publication of “Clinton’s Cash” by Peter Schweizer, whose detailing of Hillary Clinton’s financial improprieties influenced the 2016 election.
After Andrew Breitbart’s death in 2012, Bannon was tapped to head the Breitbart news website.
Stephen Gregory contributed to this report.