President Donald Trump defended White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon during a press briefing Tuesday, but wouldn’t make a definitive statement on his job security in the administration.
“Well, we’ll see,” Trump said in response to a question at the briefing about whether he still had confidence in Bannon.
“I like Mr. Bannon,” Trump continued. “He’s a friend of mine, but Mr. Bannon came on very late–you know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that. And I like him, he’s a good man. He’s not a racist. I can tell you that. He’s a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. He’s a good person, and frankly I think the press treats him very unfairly.”
CBS News reported Tuesday that sources inside and outside the White House are saying that Bannon’s job has never been more on the ropes. One of the sources in particular said it’s possible Bannon will be fired by the end of the week.
Notably, this is not the first time sources have broached the idea of Trump firing Bannon, and although Trump confirmed Tuesday that Bannon is a good person and not a racist, he refused to definitively make a statement one way or the other on Bannon’s future in the White House.
Since the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., pressure has mounted on Trump to terminate Bannon, but some of the pressure also stems from an Axios report, which suggested that Bannon may be the source of some of the leaks to the media.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has labeled Bannon an “alt-right white supremacist sympathizer” and recently renewed calls for Bannon to be fired.
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