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 TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald 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 David CohnOn The Money: Wall Street zeros in on Georgia runoffs | Seven states sue regulator over 'true lender' rule on interest rates | 2021 deficit on track to reach .3 trillion Former Trump economic aide Gary Cohn joins IBM The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience 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 ShulkinBiden's nominee for VA secretary isn't a veteran — does it matter? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress slogs toward COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal A crisis that unites veterans 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 PriebusWisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Democrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies 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.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents 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.”