Speed Reads

come out come out wherever you are

Where is Stephen Bannon?

Remember Stephen Bannon? Once hailed as the architect of President Trump's ascent to power, the controversial populist adviser has vanished from the spotlight in recent weeks "for the sake of self-preservation," Politico reports.

Bannon reportedly inadvertently raised the ire of Trump after being portrayed as the puppetmaster behind the president on SNL and getting his own Time magazine cover under the moniker "the Great Manipulator." He has notably been excluded from Trump's recent trips to Europe and has removed himself from his former frequent spot in the Oval Office, relocating to a conference table in White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus' office.

Senior administration officials have taken note of his sudden absence, deeming Bannon "AWOL" and "invisible."

[Bannon] now plays a surprisingly minor role in key administration policy debates. White House aides speculate about whether Bannon is trying to protect his job amidst long-running talk of a White House staff purge. Several West Wing advisers said they expect Trump to decide once and for all on a White House shakeup during his planned vacation next month, when he is expected to consult with friends beyond the Beltway. "If there is a big staff shakeup, it will be in August," said a senior White House aide. "My guess is that Bannon probably sees that and doesn't want to be in the press." [Politico]

Read more about Bannon's strategic retreat at Politico.