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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 Kelly leaves the White House, President Trump 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.

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The president ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 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 Cohn, 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 Shulkin 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 Priebus 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. 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.”

Tags David Shulkin Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Gary Cohn John Kelly John Kelly Reince Priebus Rex Tillerson Stephen Bannon Steve Bannon

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