Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage are both populist figureheads known for championing their own brands of nationalism that had historic implications for their countries in 2016—in the U.S., the election of Donald Trump; in the U.K., the historic decision to leave the European Union. But two years later, these men, who rose from relative political obscurity to the center of power, appear to be falling back to where they started.
In the U.S., Bannon, the former Trump ally and White House chief strategist, has fallen out of the president’s good graces after it was revealed he had lambasted the president and members of his family to Michael Wolff, the author of the international bestseller Fire and Fury. In the U.K., Farage, the former U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leader and vocal Brexiteer, has become a national punchline after calling for the U.K. to hold yet another referendum on EU membership, only to later retract the call.
The public decline has been steep for Bannon, who, in addition to being excommunicated by the president earlier this month, has also been ousted from Breitbart (the conservative news outlet where he served as executive chairman) and cut off by his billionaire patrons, the Mercer family. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said in a statement after Bannon’s comments in Fire and Fury were first made public, adding that when Bannon left the White House in August, “he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” He is now reportedly wanted for questioning in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.