Bannon’s Out, But His Ideas Might Not Be

In Bannon Watch On

Mr. Bannon’s dorm-like office functioned as a sort of command center for the administration’s nationalist wing. He met there with a coterie of mostly young, like-minded colleagues, planning strategy and plotting against foes, from Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, to Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council.

Some of Mr. Bannon’s protégés have already been sidelined while others may depart soon, people in the White House said. He will no longer have access to briefing papers or sit in meetings, like a regular Tuesday morning session in the Roosevelt Room where he sparred with Mr. Cohn and other officials over the timing of trade moves against China.

Still, there are reasons to believe Mr. Bannon’s core worldview will outlast him. On Friday, the United States announced it would open an investigation into China’s alleged theft of technology from American companies. The decision, only days after Mr. Trump formally asked his trade representative to look into the issue, suggested the United States would continue to pursue a hard economic line against China, even without Mr. Bannon.

On immigration, Mr. Trump listens to another adviser, Stephen Miller, who pushed the administration’s travel ban on Muslims. Mr. Miller has strengthened his position in the West Wing, in part by building a rapport over 18 months with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Miller, who has been seen by some as a member of the Bannon camp, chafes at suggestions that he is a creation of Mr. Bannon.

“Trump and Bannon share similar views on these issues,” said Chris Ruddy, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump who said he advised both the president and Mr. Bannon to part ways. “The big difference is that Donald Trump is much more practical and pragmatic than Steve.”

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