Bannon has been considering leaving the White House for some time as his stock has fallen with President Trump. It’s not clear how much work Bannon has since the folding of his attempted in-house think tank known as the Strategic Initiatives Group, which never really got off the ground and was swallowed up by the Office of American Innovation run by rival Jared Kushner. Sources say Bannon has taken to spending much of his time in the West Wing on his smartphone. The departure of his inter-office ally, Reince Priebus, has made him lonelier still.
But despite a slimmer portfolio, his proximity to the president means Bannon still plays a role in trying to influence policy, including most recently the internal White House debate over Afghanistan. Bannon also has Trump’s ear on other aspects of his presidency. “Despite being marginalized, Mr. Bannon consulted with the president repeatedly over the weekend as Mr. Trump struggled to respond to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va,” the Times reports. “In general, Mr. Bannon has cautioned the president not to criticize far-right activists too severely for fear of antagonizing a small but energetic part of his base.”