U.S. President Donald Trump's chief strategist, who recently rebuffed his boss's threats to use military options against North Korea, left the administration Friday, the White House said.
Steve Bannon's departure was widely rumored as he continued to clash with other White House officials and took flak for Trump's failure to unequivocally condemn white supremacists in last week's deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."
Bannon, a former head of ultra conservative outlet Breitbart News, stoked further controversy earlier this week after he contradicted the president's bellicose rhetoric against the North in an interview with American Prospect.
"There's no military solution (to North Korea's nuclear threats), forget it," he told the magazine. "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about. There's no military solution here. They got us."
Bannon also said he might consider an unlikely deal in which the U.S. pulled out its troops from South Korea in exchange for Beijing stopping Pyongyang's nuclear buildup.
Two administration officials said Bannon's departure was decided by the president, while one person close to the strategist insisted the idea was Bannon's, according to the New York Times. (Yonhap)