Fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine rise despite US push for diplomacy
Trump, Bannon remain in frequent contact: report
President Trump and Stephen Bannon are reportedly in constant contact despite the former chief strategist's departure from the West Wing nearly two months ago.
The two talk as often as several times a week, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing multiple associates close to both of them.
Trump typically dials Bannon to chat since his chief of staff John Kelly has the president's incoming calls routed through himself and his team, according the report.
The president reportedly tends to talk to Bannon about whatever topics pique Trump's interest that day, whether it is an article, a TV report or an idea he wanted to float by his longtime ally.
Bannon, who reassumed his role as executive chairman of Breitbart News, describes himself as "the president's wingman." He believes he is carrying out Trump's wishes while amping up the president's base. He also vows a war-like campaign season against the GOP establishment and others who have crossed the president, according to the report.
Despite their reported closeness, both men reportedly tend to ask mutual friends if they are still on good terms.
Trump recently asked Fox News personality Sean Hannity if Bannon is "still with me," the newspaper reported, citing two sources familiar with the conversation.
Trump also frequently calls Hannity after his show on Fox News, according to a report earlier this month. The report claimed the president's habit of calling the Fox News anchor picked up as tensions rose with Kelly, who is trying to bring order to the administration. The White House has denied reports that there is tension between the president and his top aide.
Both Hannity and Bannon have been close Trump allies since the 2016 campaign.
Bannon told Hannity earlier this month on his show that he plans to recruit candidates who can run against GOP Senate lawmakers who have not faithfully fought to enact Trump's agenda.
"There's a basic agenda that Trump ran on and won. He carried states Republicans haven't carried in living memory - Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. This agenda works. The American people voted for it," Bannon told Hannity at the time.