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 TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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 TillersonHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation 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 CohnChristie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects On The Money: Congress pivots to prevent another shutdown | Trump hits Venezuelan oil company with sanctions | US criminal charges filed against Huawei | Next round of China trade talks set | Forecasts raise doubt on Trump’s economic goals Gary Cohn joked about sending Trump to help Brexit talks: report 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 ShulkinIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? It’s time to end the scare tactics and get to work for our veterans House Democrats open investigation of Trump associates' influence at VA 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 PriebusIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? Ex-White House aide says 'cartoon villain' Kellyanne Conway bad-mouthed colleagues Trump Org hires former WH ethics lawyer to deal with congressional probes 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 TrumpTrump's son attacks LGBT magazine op-ed that calls effort to decriminalize homosexuality 'racist' Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise Trump has publicly criticized Russia probe more than 1,100 times: NY Times 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.”