Bannon has been in a precarious position before but Trump has opted to keep him, in part because his chief strategist played a major role in his election victory and is backed by many of the president’s most loyal rank-and-file supporters.

“The president obviously is very nervous and afraid of firing him,” a source close to the White House told Reuters.

The source floated the possibility that Bannon could be demoted instead of fired, noting that he might turn into a harsh critic of the administration if he is forced out of the inner circle.