Steve Bannon's Departure Could Split President Trump's Supporters

Now that Steve Bannon has lost his job at the White House, there's speculation that it could divide President Trump's remaining supporters.
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Steve Bannon's Departure Could Split President Trump's Supporters

Chief strategist Steve Bannon is gone from the White House, and he might be taking some of his supporters with him.

Bannon has been a key figure in President Trump's path to the presidency. He ran the Trump campaign before the election and his website, Breitbart, was a key media supporter of Trump's campaign.

Increasingly frequent White House shake-ups may have taken their toll on Bannon. A White House aide told Fox News Bannon submitted his resignation two weeks before leaving, days after Gen. John Kelly took over as chief of staff.

But now that Bannon is gone, Breitbart's support for Trump seems to be on the decline. The site ran a story that said, "With Bannon gone, there is no guarantee that Trump will stick to the plan" and other critics agreed. 

"Whether it was on the Paris climate accord, on the wall and the border, on holding China in check on trade, something that Bannon's last outgoing interview was really explicit on, he was the best and the biggest voice for conservatives that was close to Donald Trump," Chris Bedford of the Daily Caller told Fox Business.

The once close-knit relationship between Trump and Breitbart frayed even before Bannon's departure. The site criticized Trump over his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in relation to the Russia collusion probe.

Bannon will head back to Breitbart and insisted there's no bad blood, telling Bloomberg he's "going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

But his departure could still be a blow to the popularity of an already embattled president. Trump's approval rating is hovering around 40 percent according to a Monmouth University poll. 

Bannon's removal likely won't win Trump much support among his critics, with some saying this won't substantially change the administration. Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted, "the problem is still @POTUS." 

And it could alienate some of Trump's base whose views align with those of Bannon. Republican Rep. Steve King said: "This looks like a purging of conservatives. The odds of him completing his campaign promises … have been diminished by this."

But the majority of Trump supporters are loyal. Over 60 percent of people who approve of Trump say they can't see him doing anything that would change their minds about him.