In more evidence of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s waning influence, an unnamed friend has compared him in a Washington Post report to “a terminally ill family member who had been moved into hospice care.”
The Post reported that Bannon is struggling to hold onto his job, and President Donald Trump himself has been publicly distancing himself from Bannon this week.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday, Trump seemed to dismiss Bannon, an aide and campaign confidante he has known for at least five years, describing him simply as “a guy who works for me.” And he told told the New York Post on Tuesday that he is “his own strategist” and that Bannon was not involved in his campaign “until very late.”
The Washington Post talked to 21 Trump aides on Wednesday and came away with a picture of a chief strategist who’s struggling to build good will in the White House. The newspaper also noted that Trump has been moderating some of his views, moving away from Bannon’s populist views.
The new report is the latest in a string of stories suggesting that Bannon has fallen out of favor with President Donald Trump, who is apparently unhappy with the narrative that Bannon is a puppet master who’s calling the shots in the White House. The New York Times reported that Trump told one person that Bannon is “not a team player.”
Bannon has also reportedly drawn the ire of Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump and husband of his daughter Ivanka. Several reports recently have detailed the brewing conflict, with The Daily Beast reporting that fighting between the two had been nonstop for weeks and that they often clash face-to-face.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer called reports of the feud “overblown,” but the Post reported that Trump scolded staffers over the weekend over the infighting.
Still, The Times cited an unnamed source familiar with the dynamics inside the White House as saying any immediate changes to Trump’s staff are unlikely. And Bannon has reportedly told people that he thinks things have cooled off with Kushner.