President Donald Trump’s chief strategist was recently removed from the National Security Council, giving rise to speculation over whether the president and Steve Bannon had a fall out. In a further escalation, Trump downplayed Bannon’s role in his presidential campaign Tuesday.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin on Tuesday afternoon.
“I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve,” the president said. “I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
Soon after Trump took office in January this year, social media was flooded with posts that indicated that the real power in the administration was being held by Bannon, sparking a movement calling for the impeachment of “President Bannon.”
Trump tweeted his anger at the claims and said: “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”
There have also been multiple reports that say that Bannon, the former Brietbart chief executive, was in the midst of a tussle with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
The White House said the media was blowing things out of proportion and press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday: “There’s a lot of stuff that was overblown about this that makes it out into the media sometimes and gets a little more sensational than it really is.”
However, there seems to be some truth in the reports as the president confirmed that he had asked Bannon to sort out the issues before he has to intervene. He told the publication, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”