Bannon: If Kelly leaves White House, Trump won't replace him
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Thursday said he believes if chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE leaves the White House, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE will not replace him.

Bannon said at a Financial Times event that rather than hiring a new chief of staff should Kelly leave, Trump would likely opt for a more hands-on approach that would involve directly receiving reports from multiple individuals each day.

Bannon's comments come amid a major shake-up surrounding the Trump administration.


The president ousted Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump cannot blame policy of separating children on Obama North Korea looked to set up communications back channel through Kushner: report North America wins 2026 bid to host World Cup after lobbying from Trump MORE last week, and reports have indicated that national security adviser H.R. McMaster is set to depart the White House.

Tillerson's removal came roughly two weeks after Gary CohnGary Davivd CohnOn The Money: New York AG sues to dissolve Trump Foundation | Issa tamps down rumors of consumer agency nomination | Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism | Cohn contradicts Trump on trade Cohn contradicts Trump on trade deficits The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? MORE, Trump's top economic adviser, resigned amid a dispute with the president over steel and aluminum tariffs. Conservative economist Larry Kudlow has been named Cohn's replacement.

Many have speculated that Veteran Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinOvernight Defense: Trump orders Pentagon to help house immigrant families | Mattis says 'space force' needs legislation | VA pick gets hearing date Senate panel schedules hearing on Trump VA pick Press: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt MORE could also be on the hot seat following an inspector general report that found he misspent taxpayer money on lavish travel for himself and his wife.

Bannon himself left the White House last summer shortly after Kelly was hired to replace Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusBannon: Sessions an 'excellent' AG, Trump 'wrong' about recusal GOP lawmakers, top advisers have campaigned to stop Trump from firing Sessions: report Exclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' MORE as chief of staff.

Trump's former chief strategist was quoted extensively in the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," which focused on controversy surrounding the administration.

Bannon claimed in the book that a controversial 2016 meeting between the president's eldest son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Dem group plays audio of children crying at detention facilities outside Trump hotel Trump Jr. cancels fundraiser after Jeb Bush criticism on immigration MORE and a Russian lawyer was "treasonous," and that Trump himself was likely told about the meeting — a claim the White House denies.

His comments sparked outrage from the White House, and Trump said Bannon "lost his mind" when he left the administration.

Bannon said Thursday that he doesn’t regret participating in the book, adding that he hasn’t seen “anyone refute anything in the book.”