Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon welcomed John Kelly as chief of staff because he hoped he would introduce structure to the West Wing and weaken first daughter Ivanka Trump’s influence over the president, according to a report.
“Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry,” Bannon told multiple people when news of the personnel change became public, per the New York Times.
Tensions between Bannon, Ivanka Trump, as well as her husband and fellow White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, escalated due to Bannon’s concern that “Javanka” — his nickname for the couple — were working to soften key policies positions like those regarding immigration.
Bannon also struggled with the strict, hierarchical nature of the Trump administration as opposed to the flatter working environment of the campaign.
“When I got to the White House, all of a sudden I was just a staffer,” he complained, the New York Times reported.
Bannon’s departure from the White House and return to Breitbart News capped a turbulent transition period for Trump officials.
Earlier, Kelly and Bannon reportedly had agreed that Bannon would leave the administration mid-August. But the prospect of a graceful exit was nixed when internal conflict ensued over how President Trump should respond to the Charlottesville violence and Bannon’s unintentional interview with the American Prospect, in which he contradicted the president’s stance on North Korea.