With Steve Bannon, the worry always was that he could be even more disruptive to President Donald Trump’s White House from outside than he was within.
In the hours following his firing on Friday, those fears seemed warranted, as the conservative voices who viewed Bannon as one of their own howled in rage over Trump's decision to fire his chief strategist.
The reaction was most notable from Breitbart News, the hard-right news site that Bannon ran before he joined Trump’s presidential campaign last year.
“WAR,” tweeted one of the site's editors, Joel Pollak, who published a piece questioning whether Trump would now move in a more moderate direction with Bannon out of the White House.
"Steve Bannon personified the Trump agenda," Pollak wrote.
Bannon rejoined Breitbart as executive chairman only hours after his firing was announced. He is now expected to use it as a platform to blast those within the White House - and perhaps Trump himself - when they don't hew to the fiercely nationalist policies Bannon advocated as an inside adviser.
Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan concluded, "the reality is that Bannon will go nuclear on former colleagues he calls "West Wing Democrats": economic adviser Gary Cohn, Jared and Ivanka ("Javanka," as he calls them) and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell."
Allen and Swan detailed how Bannon may move to establish his own news network to the right of Fox News and with the backing of the billionaire Mercer family expand Breitbart internationally. "The revved-up Breitbart operation is also likely to target Speaker Ryan, as it did before Trump," concluded Allen and Swan.
Bannon clarified his post-White House intentions to Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Green, saying he's "going to war for Trump against his opponents on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."
Mike Cernovich, an alt-right activist and personality, suggested to his more than 300,000 followers on Twitter that Bannon was sacked to ensure that the White House raises troop levels in Afghanistan, which Bannon opposed.
“This is a full-on coup now, guys,” Cernovich said in a posted video.
Beyond Breitbart and the alt-right, some more traditional conservative groups were also concerned about the implications of Bannon’s departure.
Twenty Republican grassroots leaders, including longtime activists Richard Viguerie, Jenny Beth Martin, and Ginni Thomas, wrote to Trump earlier in the week urging him to keep Bannon on.
“We will miss Steve Bannon in the White House because he helped President Trump keep many of the promises he made on the campaign trail,” Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement after Bannon’s ouster.
But she also reiterated her support for the president, saying “he is his own man.”
If Bannon has anything to do with it, he will push to make sure that Trump stays that way.
But some supporters still worried that the radical agenda Bannon fought for could be at risk.
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