[After Bannon’s arrest] Trump immediately tried to distance himself from Bannon, saying he hadn’t “been dealing with him for a very long period of time.” Bannon was the chief executive of Trump’s 2016 campaign, replacing Manafort, and upon entering the White House, Trump named Bannon to a newly created position as “chief strategist” on a level with the chief of staff. So influential in the early administration was Bannon that Trump gave him a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council, while pushing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence down to occasional attendees. Bannon left the White House after the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally highlighted the dangers of having an open white nationalist in the White House. Then-White House chief of staff John Kelly asked Bannon to leave. But at least for a while, Trump continued to call Bannon when Kelly was not around. - Heather Cox Richardson, Aug 21, 2020.